The Nasal Valves
The nose has one of the most important functions in the human body: it is the first point of contact for external air to enter into the body, helping you breathe. This is vital for proper functioning of your body. The nasal passages also have fine hair-like structures that act as a filter, preventing dust particles from entering the lungs.
The Nasal Valves
The nasal valve is the opening between the nasal septum (the vertical structure in the center of the nose) and the upper lateral cartilage.
This should not be confused with the nasal cavity, which is the broadest region of the inner nose, where the air is collected and filtered during breathing. In addition, the nasal cavity also contains nerve receptors, which help you to determine different smells.
The nasal valve is the location of the highest airflow resistance, and so deformities of the region can impair the flow of air dynamically. Impairment can cause numerous physical difficulties, including issues with breathing.
What Causes Nasal Valve Deformities and Blockages?
Nasal valve deformities can be caused by a lot of factors, including natural causes, trauma, or by surgically induced reasons. In case of trauma and injury, the septum might break away from the surrounding tissues and get depressed inside the nasal cavity, which can block the passage of air.
An improper rhinoplasty surgery can also be a cause of nasal valve deformities. When rhinoplasty is done on the nasal cavity, it can create unintended problems with the structural integrity of the nasal architecture. It can stretch the tissues of the septum, causing the cartilage to collapse. This is the most common cause for nasal valve deformities.
The nasal valves can also be blocked by the accumulation of mucus that is deposited from the sinusoidal cavity, usually occurring in bouts of cold, viral fever, and sinusitis.
Due to old age, excess elongation of the hair follicles in the nasal cavity can also cause blockage, creating resistance for the proper passage of air to the trachea.
How Can Deformities in the Nasal Valves Be Corrected?
The vital importance of the nasal structure in the process of respiration makes it imperative to correct deformities and blockages in an urgent manner. For most people, blockages caused by the accumulation of water or mucus can be cleared with over-the-counter nasal decongestants.
However, for blockages caused by injuries or trauma, additional surgical procedures must be undertaken to correct them. The usual recourse is nasal reconstruction surgery, which connects and strengthens the septum to the connecting fibro-adipose tissues surrounding it.
Schedule a Consultation to Learn More
If you are experiencing a blockage of your nasal valves as a result of any of the abovementioned causes, it will be best to contact our office and arrange a helpful consultation as soon as possible.
Dr. Andrew Compton, a skilled and experienced facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, will be available to diagnose the exact nature of your nasal issue. Dr. Compton can offer aid through a variety of methods, including surgical correction with rhinoplasty.