What Is hypertrophy?
Chronic nasal obstruction or a stuffy nose, is often caused by enlargement (hypertrophy) of the inferior turbinate. Congested nasal obstruction can impair normal breathing, forcing patients to breathe through the mouth and often affects their daily activities.
Enlarged turbinates and nasal obstruction can also contribute to headaches and sleep disorders such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, as the nasal airway is the normal breathing route during sleep.
Diagnosis of Interior Turbinate Hypertrophy
At the St. Louis Sinus Center, a diagnosis of inferior turbinate hypertrophy can usually be made on your first visit. After taking your history and performing an exam we will use an endoscope, a small telescope with a light on one end and an eyepiece at the other, to examine the inside of your nose. A MiniCAT Instant CT scan will also show inferior turbinate hypertrophy.
Treatments for Turbine Reduction
There are several medications available to treat the symptoms (mainly congestion) caused by inferior turbinate hypertrophy . These include:
- Nasal steroids sprays
- Nasal antihistamine sprays
- Oral decongestants
- Oral Steroids
These medications are designed to help reduce swelling (inflammation) and improve nasal breathing.
If medications are not enough, it may be necessary to perform a simple procedure to reduce the size of your inferior turbinates.
Dr. Gould performs a simple in-office procedure at the St. Louis Sinus Center to resolve enlarged (hypertrophic) turbinates. Dr. Gould uses a small wand with a suction device to remove the excess tissue inside the inferior turbinate. The procedure takes only a few minutes, is virtually painless and results in a dramatic improvement in nasal airflow. It is occasionally performed by itself but is often combined with other procedures such as Balloon Sinus Dilation. This is generally an excellent long-term, durable solution, allowing patients to get back to enjoying life!
The turbinate reduction procedure is occasionally performed by itself but is often combined with other procedures such as Balloon Sinus Dilation.