CEENTA ENT physician Christopher Tebbit, MD, appeared on WSOC's The Daily Two on November 9th, 2022 to discuss how to get rid of a stuffy nose. Learn more about common causes for nasal obstruction and schedule your next appointment with Dr. Tebbit at our Belmont office today.
Tracy Lewis: The Daily Two is brought to you by Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates. Welcome to The Daily Two, I'm Tracy Lewis. Autumn weather brings cooler temperatures, falling leaves, but also stuffy nose and sinuses. Joining us today is Dr. Christopher Tebbit, and he's with Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, and he's here to talk to us about nasal obstruction. What is nasal obstruction?
Dr. Christopher Tebbit: So nasal obstruction, simply put, is the inability to breathe through your nose. That can be either on one or both sides of your nose and it can be a complete or a partial obstruction.
Tracy: And what causes it?
Dr. Tebbit: Broadly, the causes of nasal obstruction can be broken down into two categories: inflammatory causes and anatomic causes. Common inflammatory causes would include allergies or non-allergic rhinitis, and anatomic causes would include things like a deviated septum or your turbinates, which are the things that warm and humidify the air in your nose, they can become enlarged.
Also patients who have polyp disease can have nasal obstruction, and children can have nasal obstruction too. That can be caused sometimes by the adenoids or even occasionally they may put a foreign body in their nose.
Tracy: Oh wow, and are there medical and surgical treatments available?
Dr. Tebbit: There are, the inflammatory conditions tend to be amenable to medical treatments. First-line medical treatment is typically a nasal steroid spray like Flonase or Nasonex, and antihistamines can also be helpful in that regard. The use of saline is also a useful adjunct to therapy in that scenario as well. There are topical decongestant sprays that people use occasionally like Afrin. You have to be a little careful with those; they do work very well in the short term, but long term they can cause some rebound swelling which can cause some other problems.
Surgical treatments are typically targeted towards the anatomic portion of the obstruction. If it's the septum, a septoplasty can be helpful. If it's the turbinates, the turbinate reduction can be used or sinus surgery to remove the polyps of the area of obstruction.
Tracy: Wow that's great information, Doctor, thank you. If you'd like more information you can go to WeJustMakeSense.com or call the number on your screen. For The Daily Two, I'm Tracy Lewis.