Treating Turbinate Hypertrophy


Illustration of nasal turbinatesIf you are experiencing breathing and snoring issues accompanied by persistent sinus infections and nosebleeds, you may be suffering from turbinate hypertrophy, or chronic swelling of the nasal passages. At Chesapeake Ear Nose & Throat in Baltimore, MD, we can treat the underlying cause of inflammation. Effective treatment can open the nasal passageways, allowing you to breathe properly again.

About Nasal Turbinates

There are three turbinates on each side of the septum: inferior, middle, and superior. These spongy bone structures are covered by a unique type of epithelium, which humidifies and purifies the air as it moves through the nasal passages. The cells in the epithelium can also trigger an inflammatory immune response when a chemical or microbial irritant is present.

What is Turbinate Hypertrophy?

The tissue that lines the nasal turbinates contains several blood vessels, which allow the turbinates to shrink and swell as necessary. Allergies, infections, irritants, hormonal changes, or temperature fluctuations can cause the turbinates to expand. This process is usually temporary. However, if the turbinates become persistently swollen, the condition is referred to as turbinate hypertrophy. People with a significantly deviated septum are prone to this condition.

Symptoms of the Condition

Patients who suffer from turbinate hypertrophy may experience a number of symptoms, including:

  • Chronic nasal congestion or blockage
  • Sinusitis, or recurring sinus infections
  • Chronic snoring
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Nosebleeds

Treatment Options

There are several non-surgical and surgical options for treating turbinate hypertrophy. The procedure recommended by your doctor will depend on the severity of your condition. Non-surgical treatments include:

  • Immunotherapy and antihistamines: If allergies are the culprit of the condition, these medications can minimize inflammation.
  • Nasal steroid sprays: These sprays may be be prescribed by your doctor to reduce swelling and improve breathing.

If non-surgical treatments are not successful, surgical intervention may be recommended. Surgical turbinate reduction involves removing excess soft tissue, part of the bone structure, or both. The treatment can also be performed in conjunction with other procedures, such as sinus or septum surgery.

Our doctors believe in pursuing conservative treatments first, to minimize the need for surgery, but we also offer minimally invasive procedures.

One of the most common treatments for turbinate hypertrophy, radio-frequency reduction can generally be performed in-office in under an hour. To begin, the nose is numbed and a specialized instrument is inserted into the nasal passage. Radio-frequency energy is then utilized to shrink the inflamed tissue. There is no need to remove bone during this procedure, and the results are typically felt within days.

Why Choose Us?

If you need treatment for turbinate hypertrophy, it is extremely important to choose a highly trained specialist who is familiar with the condition. Our doctors at Chesapeake Ear Nose & Throat received their education at leading institutions, and have been providing high-quality treatment to our community for decades. We believe in pursuing conservative treatments first, to minimize the need for surgery. In addition to selecting a provider with education and experience, you should also choose someone who will listen carefully to your concerns. Every single day, we strive to create a positive experience for our patients, where they feel valued and comfortable.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If you are suffering from severe and chronic nasal congestion, you may need treatment for turbinate hypertrophy. To explore your treatment options and find the relief you deserve, schedule an appointment with us. You can contact our practice online or call us at (410) 391-1118.