Within the nose are the turbinate bones and tissue that play a significant role in nasal and overall health. Turbinates are located on the outside of the nasal passages on both sides of the nose, providing warmth and moisture to the air as it enters the nose. Colds, allergies and other conditions can cause inflammation of the turbinates, resulting in nasal congestion. If the turbinates are constantly inflamed, it can cause breathing issues. At Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT, we offer diagnosis and treatment for turbinate dysfunction at our Alpharetta, GA, clinic.
What Causes Turbinate Dysfunction?
It is normal for turbinates to become inflamed when you have a cold, seasonal allergies or sinus issue. Most swelling of the turbinates is brief, but over time the turbinate bone and tissue can become permanently enlarged, a condition called turbinate hypertrophy. This can be due to a combination of factors, from chronic allergies and sinus infections to changes in the hormones and rhinitis. Women who use oral contraceptives or undergo hormone replacement therapy are at higher risk for turbinate hypertrophy due to hormone levels.
Symptoms of Turbinate Dysfunction
When the turbinates enlarge, they can cause a myriad of breathing and other health problems. Their location can result in chronic nasal obstruction, which impacts nasal breathing as well as overall health. Some of the symptoms of turbinate dysfunction or enlargement include:
- Mouth breathing/dry mouth
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- Nasal congestion and pressure
- Post nasal drip and runny nose
- Reduced sense of smell
Chronic or long-term turbinate dysfunction occurs in about 50% of the population. The impact on sleep and breathing can be detrimental, contributing to other health conditions. At Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT, we provide treatment for turbinate dysfunction with integrative and functional medicine to improve respiratory and overall wellness. This can include turbinate reduction procedures that can effectively improve breathing, sleep and health.
If you have symptoms of turbinate dysfunction, it is important to seek diagnosis and treatment for better health. Contact us at Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT to schedule an exam with our ENT specialist. Call our office in Alpharetta, GA, to book your ENT appointment.