Obstructive Breathing Problems

There are a number of causes of breathing and sinus problems. Generally, patients with these conditions suffer from airway obstruction(s) and complain of a blocked or stuffy nose, headache or sinus pain.

  • Chronic nasal obstruction, turbinates or a stuffy nose. These can be typically caused by enlargement of the inferior nasal turbinates which are small, bony structures covered by mucous membranes that protrude into the nasal airway and help to warm, humidify and cleanse air as it is inhaled and before it reaches the lungs.

  • Nasal polyps. These are masses that can form arising in the mucous membranes of the nose and the paranasal sinuses. When this happens, they can completely block the nose and cause difficulty in breathing, partially or completely hinder ones ability to smell or taste, produce a constantly running nose and can also cause permanent mouth breathing, with subsequent poor sleep.

  • Adenoids. These are masses of lymphoid tissue situated at the very back of the nose where the nose blends into the mouth. In children they are frequently susceptible to swelling and infection. see tonsillitis information.

  • Deviated Septum. This condition refers to a deformity of the septum that is the wall that divides the nose into left and right sides. When it is bent to one side, it can block breathing through the nose. This can affect the sense of smell and taste, cause discomfort, and may precipitate snoring. Nosebleeds may also be caused by a bent or deformed nasal septum.

  • Rhinophyma. Untreated rosacea can cause a disfiguring nose condition called rhinophyma. It is an enlarged red nose that may also include thick bumps on the lower half of the nose and the nearby cheek areas. Rhinophyma occurs mainly in men and severe conditions can require surgical repair. Since it is a cosmetic disorder, it may cause emotional distress if symptoms are obvious or extensive.


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