Nasal Turbinates: The Known Causes and Symptoms

Understanding Nasal Turbinates

Nasal Turbinates

If you have been dealing with chronic sinus issues, like congestion or repeated obstruction, you may be suffering from enlarged nasal turbinates, also known as turbinate hypertrophy. When the small bones and soft tissue that make up the turbinates in the nose are chronically inflamed, the filtering action they perform breakdown. This article will explore the causes and symptoms and what you can do to help alleviate enlarged nasal turbinates.

The Known Causes of Enlarged Nasal Turbinates

While the exact causes that lead to the development of swollen and damaged turbinates vary from case to case, the root causes include any condition typified by chronic nasal inflammation or infection. The list of conditions includes:

• Severe allergic reactions
• The common cold
• Overuse of nasal sprays and decongests
• Growth of nasal polyps
• Deviation of the septum
• Hormonal changes

The Symptoms of Turbinate Hypertrophy

When chronic or severe inflammation or infection causes the turbinates to swell, it can cut off the natural flow of air through the sinuses. The most common symptoms of enlarged sinus turbinates include:

• Severe or painful nasal congestion and swelling
• Persistent and chronic sinus infection
• Increased mucus production and drainage
• Difficulty breathing through one or both nasal passages
• Congestion appears when lying down, especially on the side
• Chronic nosebleeds
• Increased snoring, breathing through the mouth while sleeping
• Sleep apnea

Treatment Options for Swollen Turbinates

Just as the causes and severity of symptoms vary from case to case, so do the treatment options. Antibiotics may be the answer if the root cause is an infection, while polyps and deviated septums will probably require corrective surgery. Milder cases can be treated with homeopathic and over-the-counter products and should clear up within a short amount of time. Many people find relief through the use of nasal sprays, saline rinses, and personal humidifiers. However, if these remedies are not adequate or stop working, it’s a sign that it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor, who can provide better treatment options.

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