Nasal obstruction occurs when the nasal passages are blocked or there is difficulty breathing through the nose. Nasal obstruction is not a disease but rather a symptom of an underlying cause that has resulted in the nasal passages being blocked or obstructed. The nasal cavity can be blocked by several causes including:
Colds and the flu
Deviated nasal septum
Foreign body insertion
Sinus infection or infection of the adenoids
Symptoms of nasal obstruction can include:
Recurrent sinus infections
Often, nasal obstruction from mucus or a runny nose usually goes away on its own. When it persists, nasal obstruction can be the symptoms of other causes and should be diagnosed by an ENT specialist.
The treatment of the nasal obstruction will depend on the underlying cause. Treatment can include non-surgical or surgical treatment options.
For less serious conditions, common treatments include:
Antihistamines or decongestants to decrease swelling.
Nasal wash to clear mucus.
Steroids sprayed in the nose to decrease inflammation.
Surgery may be the best option for more serious or structural issues involving how the nose is shaped. Our providers may recommend surgery when other non-surgical treatments aren’t proving effective. Surgical treatments may include:
Adenoidectomy to remove enlarged adenoids.
Endoscopic sinus surgery to remove sinus blockages.
Polyectomy to remove nasal polyps.
Removing foreign objects.
Septoplasty to straighten or reposition 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.