Nasal Valve Collapse
What Is Nasal Valve Collapse?
The term nasal obstruction or nasal blockage describes a condition in which airflow through the nose is limited, making it difficult to breathe.
Nasal Valve collapse is a common type of nasal obstruction. This type of nasal obstruction involves nostril collapse. It is estimated that more than 20 million Americans suffer from nasal airway obstruction. Many of them are living with the symptoms of this condition without knowing treatment is available to help them breathe easier.
Symptoms Of Nasal Valve Collapse
Symptoms of nasal airway obstruction include:
- Chronic stuffiness or congestion
- Trouble breathing through the nose, especially upon exertion
- Difficulty sleeping due to breathing difficulty
Many people may or may not notice the visible collapse of the nostrils.
Causes of Nasal Obstruction
Common causes of nasal obstruction include nasal allergies and sinus issues. However, nasal valve collapse is another common cause. In this type of nasal obstruction, there is a weakness in the cartilage foundation that supports the nostrils. Either the cartilage itself is weak, the ligaments that support them are weak, or both issues are present.
Weakness in the ligaments or cartilage of the nose may result from an injury or prior surgery. In some cases, nasal valve collapse is an age-related problem.
Historically, nasal valve collapse has been vastly undertreated. The common approach to correcting weak cartilage and ligaments involved grafting tissue from another area of the body, which carried substantial risk and required significant surgery. Additionally, the available method of tissue grafting could potentially change the appearance of the nose without adequately correcting the anatomical abnormality causing the obstruction to the nasal passageways. Now, we have many options to treat nasal valve collapse. These treatments are broken down into two categories: non-procedural and procedural.
Non-procedural options include devices that you can place daily to keep the nostrils open. Devices such as nasal strips placed over the collapsing segment of the nostrils before bedtime or before exercise can help keep the nostrils open. There are now multiple internal supporting devices available also on line or over the counter that can support the nostrils when needed. The advantage of these devices (such as Breathe-Right nasal strips, and Perform-Air) is their ease of use, immediate impact, and that no procedure is needed. The disadvantage is that they are needed forever and can cause local irritation outside or inside the nose. They may also have limited efficacy.
Procedural options presently are both non-surgical minimally invasive techniques. Vivaer® radiofrequency treatment and Latera® resorbing implants have been shown to be effective in improving nasal valve collapse and are FDA approved for this condition.
Schedule A Consultation
If you think you may have nasal airway obstruction, contact Sinus and Snoring Specialists in Austin, Texas. Our team can schedule a consultation and examination to discuss your symptoms and the benefit you may achieve with treatment. Call 512.601.0303 to speak with a friendly member of our team.