What are collapsed nasal valves?
The small, narrow, lower area of your nasal passageway is known as a nasal valve. It helps you breathe by allowing air into and out of the sinuses and your body. If your nasal valve weakens for any reason, it could result in what is referred to as nostril collapse or nasal valve collapse. This poses a serious issue because it can make it difficult to breathe, especially when sleeping. There are numerous complications associated with blocked nasal passageways, so it’s important to see a physician right away if you suspect you may have nasal passage weakness or collapse.
What are some common nasal valve collapse causes?
Your nasal passage could collapse for numerous reasons, including the following:
- Sports injury to the nose
- Direct impact to the nose
- Nasal surgery causing scar tissue
- Natural weakness in the nasal passage
- Long-term drug use through the nasal passageway (such as cocaine)
What are the symptoms of a collapsed nasal valve?
The most common symptom of a collapsed nasal valve is the feeling that your nose is stuffy all the time. Some other common symptoms you may experience include:
- Chronic sinus infections/sinusitis
- Dry sinuses
- Poor sleep hygiene
- Bloody noses
- Crusting over nostril or inside the nostril
- Difficulty breathing while sleeping or lying down
- Mouth breathing
- Difficulty sleeping
How is a collapsed nasal valve diagnosed?
To fully understand your symptoms and for an accurate diagnosis, it’s important to see a specialist. An ear, nose, and throat physician can likely help uncover whether you are suffering from a collapsed nasal valve. During an examination, your doctor will look inside your nose and ask you about the symptoms you are experiencing. Most likely, your physician will want to rule out conditions that cause similar symptoms, such as a deviated septum, allergies, sinusitis, or swollen sinuses. When needed, your doctor may also use an endoscope (a long, skinny tube that illuminates your nasal passageway for viewing) to view the inside of your nose and assess the condition of your tissues. This allows your doctor to see whether the nasal valve has been damaged or is collapsed.
How are collapsed nasal valves treated?
There are numerous solutions to relieve problems associated with a collapsed nasal valve, which vary depending on the severity of your condition. In some cases, a non-invasive option is enough to alleviate your discomfort. This might include using nasal strips/nasal valve dilators while sleeping to prevent snoring and improve sleep hygiene.
Nasal Valve Collapse Surgery
In other cases, surgery is needed to repair the damaged nasal valve. In these cases, your doctor will use special tools to narrow the blocked nasal passageway. This could involve reshaping your nasal valve by smoothing cartilage. Speak with your doctor to decide whether nasal valve collapse surgery is a good option for you and do go over exactly what you can expect during the procedure. Your doctor can answer any questions you may have and go over nasal valve collapse surgery cost expectations.
Schedule Your Appointment Today!
If you are suffering from collapsed nose valves, the first step is to consult with a sleep health expert. Ear, nose, and throat specialists at eos sleep have extensive experience in treating ear, nose, and throat conditions as well as sleep-related problems. Call 212.873.6036 today or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment or to learn more about eos sleep treatment options.