Nasal Valve Collapse Treatment
in Austin TX
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.
Nasal Valve Collapse Symptoms
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.
What Are The 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.
Will a nasal valve collapse go away on its own?
No. Nasal valve collapse involves a decrease in the structural integrity of the sides of the nose. The soft tissue in this area does not grow stronger and firmer on its own. Appropriate treatment is necessary to support the nose and adequate air flow through the nostrils.
Will a nasal valve collapse worsen if untreated?
The collapse of the sides of the nose can worsen over time. However, this does not happen to every person with nasal valve collapse. Nasal valve collapse can significantly affect your quality of life. Specifically, nasal valve collapse can disrupt the depth and quality of sleep and also exercise tolerance.
How long does nasal valve Correction take?
Typically, procedures to help with nasal valve collapse are now non-surgical. Vivear is one such technique that uses radiofrequency energy to stiffen the nostrils. Latera is another technique whereby a small implant is inserted to stiffen the nasal valve. These non-surgical techniques take about 15 minutes as an office procedure under IV sedation.
Surgical techniques involving an open rhinoplasty technique and cartilage grafting from the nose or ear are still rarely used and these involve about an hour-long surgery at a surgery center.
How long will results from a nasal valve collapse procedure last?
Studies demonstrate lasting results for both Vivear and Latera, but as these techniques are relatively new we do not have data beyond just a few years.
Can a nasal valve collapse be prevented?
The nasal valve collapse usually occurs secondary to previous trauma, again, or both and as such there are no preventative techniques one can use to avoid this issue.
Nasal Valve Collapse Treatment Options
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 online 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.
“Very intelligent doctor and staff. I went to prior allergists who claimed that my nasal issues were due to allergies even though my skin allergy tests were negative. I had been suffering from extreme, chronic congestion and sneezing over the past 3 years…. I can finally SMELL again. I couldn’t be happier. My quality of life has completely changed for the better.”
– Lexie P.
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.