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The Invisible Forces in Our Nasal Airway: Air Flow and Cavity Negative Pressure

Nasal Obstruction Versus Nasal Underuse: Are the Turbinates the Problem or the Solution?

Abstract

The sensation of reduced ability to breathe through the nose is very common among patients. Most clinicians consider a laundry-list of etiologies that are the possible causes of these problems. In reality, there may be a more useful differentiation of cause of this sensation between true nasal obstruction due to physical blockage from the nostrils through the nasal cavity, and secondary obstruction, known as nasal disuse or underuse which is due to nocturnal mouth-breathing. This entity known as nasal underuse causes a spectrum of problems that overlaps the diagnosis of nasal allergy, with enlarged/inflamed turbinates and nasal mucosa. The diagnostic differentiation between nasal obstruction and nasal underuse is critical to performing successful surgery, as in the long-term, nasal underuse is not treatable with nasal surgery, despite popular treatments. In contrast, nasal underuse can only be treated with strategies that encourage mouth-closure.

Keywords

  • Nasal disuse
  • Turbinate enlargement
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Nasal under-use
  • Turbinectomy
  • Nasal allergy

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Stupak, H.D. (2020). The Invisible Forces in Our Nasal Airway: Air Flow and Cavity Negative Pressure. In: Rethinking Rhinoplasty and Facial Surgery. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-44674-1_2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-44674-1_2

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