Nasal blockage is a common ENT complaint. It can often be as a result of septal deviation from trauma whereby the structure of the nose is causing blockage. It can also be a feature of conditions affecting the mucosa/lining of the nasal cavity e.g. allergic rhinitis (hayfever is a form of this), non-allergic rhinitis and chronic rhinosinusitis (with or without nasal polyps).
These conditions can have a significant impact on quality of life and can lead to work absence. We will be able to assess the cause of your nasal blockage from your history and by careful examination of the nose. This may include performing rigid/flexible nasendoscopy where a camera attached to a scope is used to visualise the structures inside the nose. This allows inspection of the nasal mucosa, assessment of septal deviation and for the presence of nasal polyps. A CT scan of the sinuses would be required if sinus surgery is being considered. Allergy testing may be utilised if a specific allergic trigger is suspected.
Management of conditions causing nasal blockage is patient specific and ranges from conservative treatment to surgical management. Conservative treatment typically involves saline rinses, medicated nasal sprays e.g. nasal steroids and oral medications e.g. antihistamines. Surgical management options include septoplasty, septorhinoplasty, turbinate surgery, nasal polypectomy and functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS).