Do you have trouble breathing out of your nose? You may benefit from seeing your local ENT provider. There are many causes of nasal congestion: allergies, nasal polyps, a deviated septum, and others.
If allergies are the cause of your nasal congestion, you may find that the congestion alternates between the left and right nostril, or worsens when laying down. It may fluctuate in severity throughout the year as well. Nasal sprays and antihistamines are the first line of defense, as well as sinus rinses. Your ENT provider can help find an appropriate regimen that works for you. Allergy testing can also provide insight into the causes of nasal congestion which may lead to treating allergies with immunotherapy.
Nasal polyps are non-cancerous, tear-drop shaped growths that develop in the nose or sinus cavities. Typically they are only able to be seen by a provider using a nasal endoscope. Polyps can also cause a runny nose, sneezing, recurrent sinus infections by blocking the opening to the sinuses, and anosmia, or loss of smell. Nasal polyps are most common in adults over the age of 40 and more often found in men than in women. They can be treated with nasal steroids, oral steroids, or surgical removal.
A deviated septum may also be the cause of nasal congestion. The nasal septum is the wall dividing the nasal cavity and is composed of 4 bones. The ideal septum is exactly mid-line, separating the left and right sides of the nose into equal passageways. About 80 percent of all nasal septums are off-center, or deviated, thus causing potential difficulty breathing out of the nose. Nasal congestion caused by a deviated septum typically causes difficulty breathing on one side. Other symptoms caused by a septal deviation could be epistaxis (nose bleeds), blockage of the nostril, or frequent sinus infections. Nasal sprays or surgical intervention, called a septoplasty, could be pursued to improve nasal congestion caused by septal deviation.
If you are experiencing nasal congestion, you should contact our office at (616) 994-2770 to schedule your consultation with one of our providers. They can help diagnose what is causing your nasal congestion and recommend the proper treatment for you.