Turbinate swelling

Do you find yourself constantly congested, despite your best efforts to clear your nasal passages? This could signify Turbinate swelling, a common condition with several possible causes. Fortunately, there are simple and effective solutions available such as medication or Turbinate Reduction. 


The nasal cavity comprises structures known as turbinates, which serve as essential components in filtering and humidifying the air breathed in. Turbinate swelling and hypertrophy, marked by the enlargement of these structures, can arise due to a number of factors. Factors contributing to Turbinate swelling include allergies, infections and structural problems with the nose. If left unaddressed, Turbinate swelling can cause breathing difficulties, nasal congestion and other associated problems. Notably, Turbinate Reduction, a minimally invasive outpatient procedure, effectively treats Turbinate Hypertrophy, leading to improved nasal airflow and breathing function.


Medical treatment (non-surgical) for turbinate swelling

When turbinate swelling causes significant nasal blockage, medical treatment with nasal steroid sprays and antihistamines can be very effective. These treatments, when used for a sustained period, can reduce the swelling of the turbinates and allow for easier breathing. If allergies are causing the swelling then treatment does need to continue through the allergy season and year long in the case of dust allergy. If the blockage is caused by a bad cold then a shorter period of steroid sprays or drops may be enough to allow the lining to recover.  When medication fails to improve the swelling other effective treatments include surgery.

Turbinate Reduction

Turbinate Reduction is a viable intervention for individuals with chronic nasal obstruction to alleviate airflow difficulties not responding to medication. This surgical procedure involves the excision of excess tissue from the turbinates, small bony structures within the nasal cavity, to decrease their size. Typically, this surgical intervention is advised when non-surgical treatment methods fail to produce the desired outcomes.

A Synopsis of Turbinate Reduction

The turbinates, an integral part of the nasal cavity, are categorised into three pairs, namely the inferior, middle and superior turbinates. They perform the crucial functions of warming, humidifying and filtering the inhaled air, protecting the body from possible infection and irritants. This intricate mechanism shields the body from various external factors that can cause harm and helps maintain the optimal conditions for proper breathing.

Turbinate Reduction is a surgical intervention commonly conducted by ENT surgeons (otolaryngologists) to alleviate chronic nasal congestion and enhance respiratory function. The procedure is generally suggested for patients diagnosed with Turbinate Hypertrophy, a medical condition marked by enlarged turbinates that hinder airflow and cause breathing difficulties. Turbinate Reduction surgery is conducted as an outpatient procedure in the operating room, administered under general anaesthesia. Patients can expect to be discharged on the same day following the procedure.

Causes of Nasal Turbinate Enlargement

Turbinate Hypertrophy is a condition in which the nasal turbinates become enlarged due to various environmental factors and infections. These factors trigger the swelling and constriction of blood vessels in the mucous membranes lining the turbinates, leading to nasal congestion and obstruction. While most cases of turbinate swelling are temporary, chronic inflammation, allergies and prolonged exposure to irritants can cause persistent enlargement, known as Turbinate Hypertrophy. This condition primarily affects the inferior turbinates and can cause difficulty in breathing and chronic sinusitis.

Symptoms of Swollen Turbinates

Turbinate enlargement or swollen turbinates leads to the complete obstruction of the nasal cavity due to the swelling of the turbinates, extending from the side of the nose to the middle and making contact with the septum or partition of the nose.

Turbinate enlargement can cause the following symptoms:

  • Nasal obstruction or blockage
  • Sinus pressure
  • Headaches
  • Mouth breathing
  • Snoring
  • Chronic congestion

Patients experiencing chronic nasal congestion and difficulty breathing should undergo an evaluation to determine if turbinate swelling is the underlying cause. Treatment options include addressing the underlying causes of irritation and using nasal steroid sprays or drops. A surgical procedure may be necessary in cases of chronic swelling to improve nasal airflow.

Nasal Turbinate Reduction Options

The available treatment options for Turbinate Reduction depend on the extent of the reduction needed and the patient's anatomy.

  • Turbinate Outfracture: This procedure involves breaking the turbinate bone to reduce its size and improve nasal airflow. It is a quick and straightforward procedure that can be done under local or general (full) anaesthesia in an office setting.
  • Coblation: Coblation is a minimally invasive technique that uses radiofrequency energy to remove excess tissue from the turbinate while minimising damage to surrounding tissues. It is less painful than traditional surgery and offers a prompt recovery time.
  • Radiofrequency Reduction: This technique uses radiofrequency energy to heat the turbinate tissue, causing it to shrink and reduce size. It is a safe and effective outpatient procedure that offers long-lasting relief from nasal obstruction.
  • Turbinoplasty Surgery:This is a specific surgical technique during which the turbinates are carefully remodelled and reshaped to allow for clearer breathing. This procedure is a specialised operation performed by nose and sinus experts with an intricate understanding of the structure and function of the nose.

Mr Lakhani will be able to advise you regarding the most appropriate procedure for you.

Who Is a Candidate for Turbinate Reduction?

Determining candidacy for Turbinate Reduction procedure requires a comprehensive evaluation by an experienced healthcare provider. At ENT LDN, Mr Lakhani and our team of providers employ the latest technology and personalised treatment plans to assess each patient's unique condition and determine the best course of action. Our commitment to delivering optimal outcomes and compassionate care ensures you receive the highest standard of treatment for your nasal health needs. 

Turbinate Reduction with ENT LDN - Improving Nasal Health for Better Quality of Life

Breathe easy with ENT LDN's Turbinate Reduction - A personalised approach to nasal health. ENT LDN is dedicated to delivering exceptional healthcare services to our patients. Our expert providers, under the leadership of Dr Lakhani, conduct thorough evaluations and tailor personalised treatment plans, utilising the latest technology for those struggling with chronic nasal congestion or swollen turbinates, allergic rhinitis and nasal obstruction. Turbinate Reduction is one of the many options to enhance nasal health and overall well-being. Don't let nasal issues hinder your life any longer. Take the first step towards better nasal health today by scheduling an appointment with ENT LDN.

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