The nose contains three pairs of turbinates (inferior, middle and superior), elongated structures that are responsible for humidifying the air that moves through your nose while filtering dust and dirt. The lowest pair, the inferior turbinate, can cause obstruction of air when swollen, leading to breathing difficulties. Some patients benefit from a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the inferior turbinate.
Inferior Turbinate Problems
The inferior turbinate frequently changes size, growing larger when a cold or virus causes congestion and shrinking when treated with decongestants. It causes an airway obstruction when enlarged, leading to congestion and breathing difficulties.
Inferior turbinate hypertrophy is a condition in which the turbinate has become enlarged. There are a number of factors that can cause this, including allergies, vasomotor rhinitis and deviated septum. Often, treating the underlying condition will take care of the problem. In some cases, the inferior turbinate remains enlarged despite medical treatment. Those patients often require surgery.
Turbinate Reduction Surgery
An inferior turbinate reduction is a surgical procedure designed to reduce the size of the inferior turbinate, clearing up the airway to eliminate any associated breathing problems.
This procedure involves removing a thin section of bone, causing the lining of the turbinate to shrink and the nasal passage to grow larger.
This procedure can be performed in the office or in an operating room under general anesthesia.
Call Great Lakes ENT Specialists at (231) 489-8151 for more information or to schedule an appointment.