Laser For Allergic Rhinitis Stuffiness of nose is a common problem affecting patients visiting an ENT Surgeon. Stuffiness of nose is caused by 2 basic mechanisms
1. DNS or Deviation of Nasal Symptom.The nasal septum is the bone and cartilage in the nose that separates the nasal cavity into the two nostrils. The cartilage is called the quadrangular cartilage and the bones comprising the septum include the maxillary crest, vomer and the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid. Normally, the septum lies centrally, and thus the nasal passages are symmetrical. A deviated septum is an abnormal condition in which the top of the cartilaginous ridge leans to the left or the right, causing obstruction of the affected nasal passage. The condition can result in poor drainage of the sinuses. Patients can also complain of difficulty breathing easily, or of sleeping disorders such as snoring or sleep apnea. It is common for nasal septa to depart from the exact centerline; the septum is only considered deviated if the shift is substantial or is adversely affecting the patient. Many people with a deviation are unaware they have it until some pain is produced. But by itself a deviated septum can go undetected for years and thus be without any need for correction.
2. Hypertrophied Nasal Turbinates.Chronic nasal obstruction, or a stuffy nose, is often caused by enlargement of the inferior nasal turbinates. The nasal turbinates---small, shelf-like structures composed of thin bone and covered by mucous membranes (mucosa) ---protrude into the nasal airway and help to warm, humidify and cleanse air as it is inhaled, before it reaches the lungs. Chronic enlargement (hypertrophy) of the turbinates and the accompanying symptom of nasal obstruction affect people throughout the day, as well as during sleep. A chronic stuffy nose can impair normal breathing, forcing patients to breathe through the mouth and often affecting their daily activities. Enlarged turbinates and nasal congestion can also contribute to headaches and sleep disorders such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, as the nasal airway is the normal breathing route during sleep. Chronic turbinate hypertrophy is often unresponsive to medical treatment such as nasal sprays; thus surgical treatment is required. Chronic turbinate hypertrophy and nasal obstruction are commonly associated with rhinitis, the inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose. When the mucosa becomes inflamed, the blood vessels inside the membrane swell and expand, causing the turbinates to become enlarged and obstruct the flow of air through the nose. According to several large population surveys, approximately 20% of the population suffer from some type of chronic rhinitis. How Can laser Help me? Laser therapy can reduce the size of these enlarged turbinates without surgery. This leads to the patient having relief of his symptoms. The procedure is a short abd can be done on OPD basis. Most cases of Allergic Rhinitis have a combination of above 2 conditions. Laser can be advised as a first therapy in cases where the DNS is is not a very prominent symptom. However Laser therapy is of limited use in cases Of prominent Deviated Nasal Septum. Therefore it is necessary to have a proper diagnosis of your symptoms.