Have you ever experienced the congested sensation of a cold? It’s a common ailment, but did you know that more severe conditions can be linked to nasal turbinates?
Nasal turbinates, also known as nasal conchae, are structures located inside the nasal cavity. They are bony structures covered with a layer of tissue that help to humidify and filter the air we breathe in. When they become enlarged or inflamed, it can cause a range of issues, from difficulty breathing to chronic sinus headaches.
In this article, I’ll be talking about some of the common causes of nasal turbinate issues in Illinois residents, as well as the symptoms and treatments available for turbinate reduction. We’ll also provide some tips on how to prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.
Thanks for joining us, and we look forward to exploring this important topic with you.
What Are Nasal Turbinates?
Nasal turbinates are the curved bones in the walls of the nasal passages. They are covered with a thin membrane layer and contain a network of blood vessels.
Turbinates are responsible for warming and humidifying the air that enters the nasal passages. They also help to filter, clean, and moisten the air before it reaches the lungs.
The health of the nasal turbinates can affect overall health. A blocked nose can lead to difficulty breathing, snoring, headaches, and sleep apnea. It can also cause fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Proper treatment of nasal turbinate swelling can help to alleviate these symptoms and improve overall health.
Causes of Enlarged Turbinates
Allergic Rhinitis – This is a condition in which the nasal passages become inflamed and swollen due to an allergic reaction to allergens such as pollen, dust, mold, and pet dander. This can lead to an increased production of mucus, which can cause the turbinates to become enlarged.
Nasal Polyps – These are small, non-cancerous growths that can form in the nasal passages. They can cause the turbinates to become enlarged and can cause blockages in the nasal passages.
Deviated Septum – A deviated septum is a condition in which the nasal septum, the wall between the two nasal passages, is crooked or off-centered. This can cause blockages in the nasal passages and lead to an enlargement of the turbinates.
Trauma – Nasal-area trauma can cause the turbinates to become enlarged. This can occur due to a broken nose or due to a foreign object in the nose.
Hormonal changes – Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy, can cause the turbinates to become enlarged.
Infections – A cold or sinus infection can cause the turbinates to become enlarged.
Treatment Options for Turbinate Reduction
Treatment of nasal turbinate swelling depends on the cause of the swelling.
In cases of allergies, the doctor may prescribe antihistamines or allergy shots.
For colds and sinus infections, antibiotics may be prescribed.
In some cases, corticosteroid nasal sprays may be used to reduce swelling.
Surgery may also be recommended for severe cases or for recurrent problems.
How to Prevent Nasal Turbinate Enlargement
- Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, dust, pollen, mold, and other irritants and allergens. If you must be exposed to these, wear a dust mask or other protective gear.
- Avoid using nasal sprays, decongestants, and medications that can dry out the nasal passages and lead to inflammation.
- Use a humidifier to keep the air in your home and office moist and free of irritants.
- Avoid exposure to cold air by wearing a scarf or mask outside in cold weather.
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep the nasal passages moist and clear of allergens and irritants.
- Use neti pots to cleanse and rinse the nasal passages.
- Take antihistamines to reduce inflammation and control allergies.
- Practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your nose or face.
- Avoid blowing your nose too hard. Instead, use a tissue to blot the area gently.
What Is the First Step to Receiving Help
We are dedicated to serving everyone in Illinois, but to do so, we must evaluate each person individually. We can only confidently make a diagnosis once we have all the information about your condition.
Schedule a consultation with Fox Valley’s leading ENT doctors the minute you experience any discomfort with either your ears, nose, or throat. These are all connected, and if one aspect is neglected, it can also have severe effects on the others.
We are standing by to help you and your family achieve the best health possible.