Turbinate hypertrophy refers to an excessive growth or enlargement of the bony structures located inside of the nose. These structures are covered with a special skin called mucosa and they help filter, warm, and humidify the air as you breath. The mucosa naturally swells during the normal nasal cycle, when you lie down and in response to allergens or other irritants. If these turbinates become enlarged, breathing can become more difficult.
Symptoms of turbinate hypertrophy can include:
Congestion or congestion when lying down
Noisy or loud breathing
Stuffiness and increased nasal drainage
Turbinate hypertrophy is caused when the mucosa becomes enlarged or swollen. This can be chronic or acute and can be caused by conditions including:
The common cold
Treating turbinate hypertrophy will depend on the specific cause. See your primary care provider or one of our ENT specialists to diagnose what may be causing the turbinate hypertrophy and coming up with an appropriate treatment plan.
Medications are often the first step to help reduce your symptoms. Medications can include:
Allergy medications if your symptoms are caused by allergic rhinitis
Nasal antihistamine sprays
Nasal saline sprays or rinses
If medications do not help improve your symptoms, surgery may be used to decrease the size of the turbinates. The surgery is usually performed through the nostrils and can be performed under local or general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. The procedure may be combined with other procedures to reduce nasal obstruction like a septoplasty to address a deviated septum.
Not all treatments, tests and services are available at all Mayo Clinic Health System locations. Check with your preferred location in advance.