Certain conditions such as allergies, non-allergic rhinitis, a deviated nasal septum, and environmental irritants can result in excessive enlargement of the lower nasal turbinates. This results in nasal congestion, difficulty breathing through the nose, and can cause a more severe level of nasal obstruction.
Frequently, patients experience worsening nasal congestion while sleeping or lying down. This is due to further enlargement of the turbinates when we assume a recumbent position (lying down).
When the nasal turbinates become enlarged and cause the symptoms described above, an office based procedure called inferior turbinate modification usually provides excellent relief. During turbinate reduction, a 3 mm diameter wand attached to a suction device is used to remove excessive tissue from the enlarged turbinate underneath the mucous membrane that lines the turbinate.
This produces a 20-25% reduction in the volume of the turbinate that results in relief from nasal congestion and obstruction.