When air can’t travel through your nose, preventing you from adequately breathing, your health is at risk, and you’re forced to only breathe from your mouth. It can impact your ability to sleep, lead to bad breath, affect your confidence and energy, and more. Simply put, a blocked nasal airway is a problem worth solving.
Are enlarged turbinates getting in the way of your nasal airway? Continue reading below to learn how turbinates may be impacting your breathing and what to do next, or take action today and schedule your appointment with Southern Indiana ENT.
What are turbinates and how can they block your nasal airway?
A turbinate, also known as a nasal concha, helps filter, warm and humidify the air you breathe. Most humans have three turbinates (superior, middle, inferior). Your turbinates can be found inside the nose, and are made of a combination of bone and tissue (mucosa).
Due to their location inside your nose, turbinates obstruct your nasal airway. This is not usually a problem that prevents enough air from entering and exiting your nose. However, when turbinates enlarge, which does not happen without a cause, the available space for air to travel through your nose decreases and you may no longer be able to breathe properly.
Why do turbinates expand?
When turbinates expand and enlarge, it’s referred to as “turbinate hypertrophy.” This condition is caused by several health issues, including:
- Common cold
- Sleep apnea (obstructive)
- Irritants (pollution, chemicals, perfumes, dust, tobacco)
- Collapsed nasal valve
- Chronic sinus inflammation
- Dysfunction of the auditory tube
- Concha bullosa
- Choanal atresia
To reverse the nasal breathing issues caused by enlarged turbinates, your Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor may recommend a turbinate reduction procedure.