Nasal Congestion, Snoring and Sleep Apnea
When evaluating patients with obstructive sleep apnea, a complete head and neck examination is performed. The nose and more specifically nasal obstruction can contribute to snoring and sleep apnea. Some of the anatomical variants we look for in the nose are a septal deviation (Crooked nasal septum), inferior turbinate enlargement or any nasal masses (such as nasal polyps). If these variants are identified, we may initially try a nasal steroid spray to help relieve obstruction. It may take 4-6 weeks for full effect, but if there is no improvement then there are several surgeries that may help.
The nasal septum divides the right and left nasal cavities from one another. It is made of cartilage and bone. If the septum is deviated or crooked, it can lead to nasal obstruction and contribute to snoring and sleep apnea. Septoplasty is an outpatient procedure and can help with snoring and nasal obstruction. You can learn more about the procedure here:
The inferior turbinates are small bones with surrounding soft tissue found within the nose. Inferior turbinate enlargement can contribute to nasal obstruction, snoring and sleep apnea. If a septoplasty is performed, often the inferior turbinates are shrunken at the same time in the operating room. An inferior turbinate reduction can also be performed comfortably in the office