One of the commonest symptoms presented to the ENT Specialist is Nasal Blockage. This could be in the child or in the adult.
First of all, it is important to understand the causes of nasal blockage:
- Nasal Septal Deviation - the mid-line bone and cartilage that divides the nose into right and left is deviated, causing obstruction to nasal breathing.
- Nasal Polyps - these are single or multiple swellings in the nose that obstruct breathing - usually caused by episodes of allergy and infection in the nose
- Enlarged Turbinates - these are scroll-like swellings on either side of the nasal passage which, when enlarged, can cause nasal obstruction
- Adenoids - Adenoids are tonsillar tissue behind the nose which enlarge in childhood to sometimes cause severe nasal obstruction
- Self medication with nasal decongestants and dependence upon them
- Generalized Tissue engorgement related to Allergy or Infection - like nasal blockage during a cold.
- Other Causes like Nasopharyngeal Cyst, Angiofibroma, Nasal Tumours etc.
It is also important to understand that nature makes the nose breathe from one nostril at a time - a process called "Nasal Cycle." Because of this, an individual may complain of nasal blockage that alternates between the nostrils - sometimes left and sometimes right.
Having understood the reasons for nasal blockage we must try some home remedies to improve our nasal flow. These are -
- Deep breathing nasal exercises including Yoga exercises like ''Anulomb Vilomb'' and ''Pranayam" - it is not important that they be specific Yoga exercises as long as one understands that deep breathing must be done.
- Aerobics - this helps to shrink erectile nasal tissue and improves nasal breathing
- Regular exercises like Swimming etc.
- Nasal Douching - like Jal Neeti - or simply washing the nasal passage with saline water helps in removing crusts and thick secretions and helps in opening up the nasal passage.
These are simple home remedies that anyone can try.
However, in the absence of significant relief, you must meet your ENT Specialist - surgical correction of most of these problems is available - the surgery is usually simple with gratifying results in properly indicated cases. Once the nasal passage is surgically opened up the other remedies as mentioned earlier will work more efficiently.