One of the most common causes of nasal blockages is nasal valve collapse, also called nasal valve stenosis. In people suffering from this condition the narrow part of the airway (the nasal valve) can weaken and collapse inward. This can affect either one side or both sides of the nose and cause difficulty breathing. Nasal valve collapse can happen as a result of rhinoplasty or septal deviation. Fortunately, the condition is very treatable.
Nasal Valve Collapse
When the nasal valve is blocked, airflow through the nose can be impeded, which can impact a person’s quality of life in a significant way. When airflow into the sinuses is interrupted, mucus drainage is affected as well. This can lead to sinus infections. If you think you might suffer from a collapsed nasal valve, it is important to see your doctor who can help diagnose and treat the condition. Nasal valve collapse symptoms include:
· Nasal congestion
· Difficulty breathing through the nose, especially inward
· Difficulty breathing while lying down
Your doctor can carefully review your medical history and perform a visual exam of the nose and endoscopy. Your doctor will also perform a Cottle maneuver test. During this test, the cheek is gently pulled to open the nasal valve to determine if the nasal obstruction is the valve or farther inside the nose.
If your doctor determines the problem to be a nasal valve collapse, there are a few treatment options available. These treatment solutions include:
· Cartilage graft
· Nasal ridge broadening
LATERA: A Surgical Solution
One solution to nasal valve collapse is LATERA. LATERA is an FDA-approved absorbable implant that is injected through the inside wall of the nostril. This implant provides support to the upper and lower cartilage in the nose, which keeps the nasal passageway open and prevents the nasal valve from collapsing. By supporting the collapsing nasal cartilage, LATERA can reduce symptoms of nasal obstruction and help improve breathing through the nose. Here is what you can expect from a LATERA procedure.
1. Topical anesthesia will be applied before the procedure begins to ensure patient comfort.
2. Through a small incision within the nose, the LATERA implant will be inserted. The implant is not visible, and there will be no changes in appearance to the external nose.
The procedure only takes a few minutes and can be done right in the office. After the LATERA implant, patients might experience mild bruising and swelling, but these effects are only temporary and should go away in a few days. There will be no long-term changes to the appearance of the nose after the surgery. Within a few weeks, patients should experience the full benefits of the LATERA implant. They will notice reduced congestion and breathing will be much easier, particularly during heavy exertion and exercise. Many patients also notice that they sleep more soundly after the implant. Over the next 18 months, the LATERA implant will be absorbed by the body. As the implant is absorbed, fibrous collagen begins to form around the implant, which helps to provide support to the cartilage.
If you suffer from nasal congestion and obstructed breathing and these symptoms have a negative effect on your quality of life, speak to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms and provide a solution that is right for you.