We all know that the nose plays a big role in our breathing. The nasal valve is one of the anatomical areas that can affect our breathing. Have you seen athletes on television or have you ever tried yourself those breathing strips that flare the nostrils open? That is to treat the nasal valve. The nasal valve is the narrow, internal area of the nose located in the middle to the lower part of the nose that limits airflow. This area can be affected by collapse or narrowing that we call stenosis. When it collapses or becomes narrower it can lead to many problems affecting your breathing. With stenosis, there may be structural problems with the nose or scarring that also inhibit airflow. At Associates of Otolaryngology in Denver, Colorado we help patients address their nasal valve problems to keep breathing function.
What is a Nasal Valve Collapse?
A nasal valve collapse is defined as a weakness or narrowing of the nasal valve. It can occur due to trauma of the nose, prior surgery, or inherent anatomical problems with your nose. Depending on the severity of this, you can either have some obstruction in your breathing or a completely blocked nasal airway. Sometimes this problem is visible with nostril collapse on inspiration and sometimes it’s more visible with an internal exam of the nose. If you notice any changes in your breathing or symptoms of nasal valve collapse, talk to an ENT specialist to get a diagnosis and treatment started.
Symptoms of Nasal Valve Collapse
There are various ways that a nasal valve collapse can affect you. The symptoms are:
- Nasal Bleeding
- Crusting Around the Nostrils
- Difficulty Breathing Through the Nose
- An Obstruction of the Nasal Passage
Treatments for Nasal Valve Collapse
Depending on your goals and the severity of your condition, there are different treatments for a nasal valve collapse or obstruction. Some people will get relief with an over-the-counter nasal dilator or nasal dilating strip but these can sometimes be uncomfortable, problematic, or not suitable to normal daily social situations. A skilled nasal surgeon can evaluate and treat this effectively. This is most commonly treated with a procedure known as nasal valve repair. This treatment can be done as a minimally invasive outpatient procedure and can help to restore breathing function. It is often done in conjunction with other nasal surgeries such as rhinoplasty, septoplasty, terminal plasty, and other sinus surgeries. There is even a new implant on the market called the Latera implant that can be an effective alternative in some cases. A very thorough nasal and sinus exam is the first start. Talk to your specialist at AOO in Denver, Colorado to find the right treatment method for you.
If you have noticed changes in your breathing your nasal valve may be obstructed. It is one of the many factors that our experience specialist will take into consideration when assessing your nasal and sinus symptoms. A comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the most significant factors will create the best results for you. To learn more about the nasal valve and how it affects your breathing contact AOO today to schedule an appointment.