Nasal obstruction is a very bothersome symptom because we take for granted the ability to breathe comfortably through our nose. Severe cases of nasal obstruction result in mouth breathing, which leads to snoring and in some patients is associated with sleep apnea. Chronic mouth breathing at night also commonly results in the sensation of dry mouth in the morning. Severe nasal obstruction may also be associated with loss of smell, due to lack of airflow to olfactory receptors. Nasal obstruction, congestion, and/or fullness is the most common symptom in patients with sinusitis, but there are several anatomic causes that can be addressed with minimally invasive, endoscopic surgery, particularly if medications fail to result in improvement. These anatomic factors are described below.
Septal deviation may be a cause of nasal obstruction. This describes a crooked wall between both nasal cavities. This may be fixed by septoplasty.
Turbinates, normal bones within the nasal cavity may be enlarged, causing nasal obstruction. This may be treated with medications or surgery.