Ear Nose & Throat Sydney
Dr  Narinder Singh  MBBS (Syd) FRACS (ORL-HNS) - Consultant ENT Specialist Surgeon - Clinical Lecturer University of Sydney
Ear Nose & Throat Sydney, Dr Narinder Singh
Ear Nose & Throat Sydney, Dr Narinder Singh Ear Nose & Throat Sydney, Dr Narinder Singh
 
Ear Nose Throat

Blocked Nose

  • Is your nose blocked?
  • Can't get enough air through your nose?
  • Do you breathe through your mouth because your nose is blocked?
  • Do you snore at night because your nose is blocked?
  • Would you like to breathe normally through your nose?

Read this page to find out how your blocked nose can be fixed and how you can breathe normally through your nose:

What causes a blocked nose?

The commonest cause of a blocked nose is an anatomical problem. The commonest anatomical problems include:

  • Deviated Septum
  • Large Inferior Turbinates
  • Polyps in the nose
  • External valve collapse (Collapse of the side walls of the nose)
  • Bent or twisted nose
  • Large Adenoids (Much more common in children but can occur in adults)

What else can cause a blocked nose?

What causes a blocked nose

Other causes of a blocked nose include:

  • Allergic rhinitis (Allergy/ Hayfever)
  • Non-allergic rhinitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Auto-immune disorders/ blood disorders (rare)
  • Tumours/ cancers (rare)
  • Other rare causes (birth defects, objects stuck in the nose, etc)

How can I find out what is causing my blocked nose?

Always see your GP first. Your GP will look inside your nose and may order some tests or prescribe some medications. If your GP cannot fix your blocked nose, ask your GP for a referral to see Dr Singh and make an appointment.

What tests can my GP order?

Some tests that your GP may order include:

  • CT scan - This can show the anatomy of your sinuses
  • Skin prick tests - These can show if you have allergy (Allergic Rhinitis)
  • RAST blood tests - These can show if you have allergy (Allergic Rhinitis). Blood tests are not as accurate as skin prick tests but are easier to perform.

What if my GP can't find the cause of my blocked nose?

Ask your GP for a referral to see Dr Singh.

What treatments can my GP prescribe?

Blocked Nose - General Practitioner

Some treatments that your GP may prescribe include:

  • Nasal saline rinse - This washes out the inside of the nose and sinuses
  • Nasal steroid sprays - These shrink the lining of the nose to allow more air through. They are most useful in patients with allergy (Allergic rhinitis
  • Antihistamine tablets/ sprays - These can be useful in patients with allergy (Allergic rhinitis)

What if the treatment from my GP doesn't work?

Ask your GP for a referral to see Dr Singh.

How can Dr Singh find out what is causing my blocked nose?

Dr Singh is a nose and sinus specialist. Dr Singh uses special tests to find out exactly what is causing your blocked nose.

What tests can Dr Singh perform?

What tests can Dr Singh perform?Dr Singh may order a CT scan, allergy tests and blood tests, just like your GP.

Dr Singh may order nasal function tests, which show the amount of airflow through your nose.

Our practice is unique as we have a CT scanner on-site and a trained scientist in-house. This means all of the following tests can be performed on-site, without the need for multiple appointments at multiple locations:

  • CT scan
  • Skin prick tests
  • Blood tests
  • Rhinomanometry and Acoustic Rhinometry (Nasal airflow tests)
  • Sleep study

Dr Singh will examine your nose using special instruments.

Dr Singh will also pass a special super-fine camera into your nose to look at the septum, turbinates and sinus openings (the nose is made numb first using a special numbing spray). You can watch the camera on a TV monitor and see for yourself exactly what is causing your blocked nose.

Despite all the tests and high-technology available, the most accurate tool is your doctor's knowledge, training and experience!

Can my blocked nose be fixed?

Yes.

In almost every case of blocked nose, the cause can be found and treated.

How is blocked nose treated?

Blocked Nose - Treatment

The treatment used will depend on the cause.

Anatomical problems can be fixed with surgery. In most cases, this is "day-surgery" (you will return home on the same day as the procedure). You will be asleep during the procedure (general anaesthetic). Please follow the links to find out more about each procedure:

  • Deviated septum: This is fixed with a Septoplasty operation
  • Large Inferior Turbinates: These are fixed with a Turbinoplasty operation
  • Nasal polyps: These are fixed with a Polypectomy operation
  • External valve collapse (Collapse of the side walls of the nose): This is fixed with a Functional Rhinoplasty operation
  • Bent or twisted nose: This is fixed with a Rhinoplasty operation
  • Large Adenoids: These are fixed with an Adenoidectomy operation

Are there any alternative treatments to surgery?

Blocked Nose - Alternative Treatment

Yes. There are always options and it is always your choice as to whether to have surgery. In general, you can try other options first and choose surgery if nothing else works. Non-surgical options include:

  1. Do Nothing. If your problem is not severe, you may choose not to have any treatment at all.
  2. Simple treatments (Saline rinse). Try rinsing the nose 2-4 times a day with salty water from your pharmacy.
  3. Medications. Try Nasal steroid sprays and antihistamine tablets/ sprays from your pharmacy or from your GP. They work best for people with allergy but may sometimes help people without allergy.

We recommend that you see your GP first and consider trying these non-surgical options. Then see Dr Singh when you are ready for surgery. There is a long waiting list to see Dr Singh and it is best if you see Dr Singh for surgery after the non-surgical treatments have failed.

Are there any risks to surgery?

Yes. Everything we do in life has risks. Even something as simple as crossing the street has risks…but we still cross the street. Dr Singh will explain the risks of your operation and provide you with an information pamphlet that explains the risks in detail. If you have any questions about risks, ask Dr Singh during your consultation.

How are other causes treated?

How are other causes treated?

The treatment used will depend on the cause. Please follow the links to find out more about each condition:

What should I do next?

See your GP. If your GP is unable to fix your blocked nose, ask your GP for a referral to see Dr Singh

I have already seen a doctor - I was told nothing could be done for my blocked nose. What should I do?

Most cases of blocked nose can be fixed or improved. Dr Singh is a nose and sinus specialist and has expertise in difficult and complex cases.

Consider asking your GP for a referral to see Dr Singh.

I have already seen a surgeon and had an operation on my nose. It didn't work! What should I do?

Blocked NoseMost cases of blocked nose can be fixed or improved. Dr Singh is a nose and sinus specialist and has expertise in performing revision surgery.

We recommend that you return to see your original surgeon first. If nothing further can be done and you still have symptoms, consider asking your original surgeon or your GP for a referral to see Dr Singh. Dr Singh always works together with your GP and your other specialists to achieve your best health outcome.



DISCLAIMER: The material on this page represents general information only and is NOT medical advice. For specific medical advice about your individual circumstances you must consult a trained medical practitioner. Always see your GP first. If your GP is unable to fix your nose or sinus problem, ask your GP for a referral to Dr Singh. Dr Singh always works together with you and your GP to achieve your best health outcome. IMPORTANT: Do not try to diagnose your medical problem by yourself! Do not rely solely on information found on the internet. Always see your GP first.



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