Blocked nose – also known as the congested nose, stuffy nose, etc., means blocked airflow to the nose. The reason can be many ranging from the common cold to sinusitis. It can also happen due to sinuses’ inflamed and swollen lining tissues.
Here are some more reasons for blocked nose :
- Enlarged adenoid
- Nasal polyps
- Foreign body in the nasal passage
- Environmental irritants
- Vasomotor Rhinitis
- Other viral infections
- Nasal passage tumours
Some lesser-known causes of a blocked nose are nose trauma / injury, deviated nasal septum, medication side effects, using a particular nasal decongestant drops or spray for a long time, etc.
While there is no age limit for developing a stuffy nose, a specific type of person is more prone to this condition. Females of 25-64 or kids under 15 are more inclined to get sinusitis resulting in nasal congestion.
As for symptoms, a blocked nose itself is a symptom. There can be some more symptoms to this condition, like nasal discharge coming from the front part of the nose or into the throat’s backside, losing smell, facial pain, crusting, sneezing, itching, etc.
When you feel any of these happening to you, you can initially try the following remedies at home.
- Inhale steam putting your face above a bowl of hot water, and breathe
- Try saline drops to clear your stuffy nose
- Try menthol vapour of Vicks as they are an excellent source of menthol that helps get rid of a blocked nose
- Keeping humidifiers in your room will add moisture to your room’s air and help you breathe moist air while dissolving the mucus
- Decongestant sprays are probably the most effective option to clear your blocked nose
But if you don’t see any improvement in 10 days, consult a specialist. They’ll check you for proper diagnosis and recommend treatment.
Your diagnosis is most likely to include a nasendoscopy. Scans might be needed too depending on the nose condition.
The doctor’s recommended treatment might include the following:
- Corrective surgery
- Topical or oral antibiotics
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays
The treatment depends on individual doctors and what they feel will be the best for you. Whichever treatment you get, make sure you complete the entire course of antibiotics, take proper care of yourself, and keep yourself from being exposed to allergens.
Broken noses tend to be one of the most common facial injuries. It is basically any rupture or fracture in the nose’s bony part.
Men are twice more inclined to get their noses broken than women. In either case, a broken nose can be very painful, and you’ll struggle to breathe through your nose.
While the reason for broken noses is closely associated with facial or nasal trauma, there are a few more general trauma sources that result in a broken nose :
- Fall from a dangerous height
- Injuries from sports
- Physical assaults
- Personal fights
- Domestic violence
- Accidents ( motor vehicles mostly), etc
Some apparent signs tell if a person has had their nose broken / ruptured. Try looking for the following symptoms if ever in doubt :
- Swelling of the nose or face
- Bleeding from nose
- Feeling nose sensitivity / tenderness to the touch
- Black eye or nose bruises
- Struggling to breathe through nostrils
- Crooked / deformed nose
- Hearing a crunching sound when touching the nose ( similar sound to rubbing hair with two fingers )
If you feel one or more symptoms present, seek immediate medical help to ensure the doctor can take care of the rest of the condition.
Once you’re under the observation of the healthcare provider, you’ll get enquired and examined as required. You might need a CT scan to determine further injuries like broker facial bones.
Usually, the treatment for your broken nose will start with ice packs and pain killers. Your doctor will decide if the condition of your nose needs manual realignment or surgery.
A manual realignment should be enough if the broken nose has only displaced your cartilage and bones. However, this has to be done within 14 days from the day of the nose break as the bones won’t be moveable, and rhinoplasty will be required to save the nose.
Closed reduction under anesthetic can be performed too to fix the nasal fracture. The closed reductions tend to have a 60-90% success rate. After the nose is realigned, your doctor might also provide you with an external splint to help stabilise the nose as it heals.
It usually takes the broken noses about six weeks to heal completely.
Never try to do something on your own to a broken nose. That will only complicate things. If you have a fractured nose, get yourself to the nearest medical centre as soon as you can. The healthcare provider will handle everything and help you get your nose back to a healthy shape.
Chronic sinusitis is a condition that appears due to long-term sinus infection / inflammation. The time might even be longer than three months.
This condition disturbs the natural draining system of mucus and gives you a stuffy nose. Since it stays with you for a while, you’ll find it hard to breathe because of the long-lasting inflammation and blocked nose. Also, you might notice swollen undereye area or tenderness around it.
If you’re doubtful, here are some of the symptoms of chronic sinusitis:
- Postnasal drip
- Weak sense of smell
- Discharge from nose
- Headaches due to swollen sinuses
- Stuffy nose
- Pain in the gum / teeth
- Facial pressure
- Green-ish or yellow-ish mucus dripping from nose
- Ear pain
- Cough which tends to get worse at night
- Sore throat, jaw, and teeth
- Bad breath
There are several causes you can get chronic sinusitis. Some of them include :
- Nasal polyps; a type of growing tissue that can block your sinuses or nasal passages
- Allergies and inflammation that comes with allergies like hay fever could have your sinuses blocked
- Deviated nasal septums can also have the same nasal passage blocking effect, which will worsen the sinusitis eventually
- If you have infections in your respiratory tract, it can have an inflaming effect on your sinus membranes and disturb the / block the mucus draining system
- Several different medical problems like HIV, cystic fibrosis, or diseases related to the immune system can also block your nasal passage
If you find yourself suffering from any symptoms of chronic sinusitis, get yourself checked up. Once the doctor diagnoses you with chronic sinusitis, you’ll get your treatment which usually begins with saline rinses of your sinuses or antibiotics.
If your condition doesn’t improve after primary treatments, you might need an endoscopic ( slightly invasive) surgery. Sometimes, your doctor may also recommend a CT scan of your sinuses. Of course, your doctor will talk to you about these in detail after getting your entire history and examining you thoroughly.
You might even need to get a septoplasty / deviated septum surgery or a rhinoplasty / nose surgery, depending on the condition of your nose and breathing difficulties. You’ll get the wall between your nostril or the tissue reshaped to straight or expanded. This is to ensure easier breathing through both nostrils.
Sometimes, the condition of chronic sinusitis is not curable. So, you might have to be on medication for a long time to maintain a balanced and everyday life.
However, that’s not the same for all the cases. Home remedies ( saline water rinse ) are beneficial for treating most symptoms. Following a proper treatment plan prescribed by a doctor and some OTC medications can help you treat chronic sinusitis.
Deviated septum appears when the cartilage, septum, and nasal cavity separating bone gets crooked. You’re either born with a deviated septum, or an injury causes you to get it. A severe case of a deviated septum can make you struggle to breathe, cause headaches and a congested nose. However, to get the deviated septum fixed, you might need surgery.
Here are some more symptoms of the crooked septum:
- Bleeding through nose
- Loud breathing in babies and kids while sleeping
- Sinus infections
- Adults breathing through mouths
Moreover, deviated septums sometimes cause sleep apnea – a critical condition where you will stop breathing in your sleep.
So, it’s crucial that you get diagnosed fast. Consult a plastic surgeon or ENT specialist to get diagnosed. Your doctor will use a nasal speculum and start by examining the nostrils. You’ll also have to answer a few questions about your sleeping conditions, breathing problems, or snoring.
You’ll get treatment depending on your condition. If the doctor finds that your condition combines sinus infection, breathing difficulties, and some more irritating symptoms, you’ll be recommended to get a septoplasty done.
Septoplasty is a three-step surgery for a deviated septum. The procedure is usually one-two hour long, and you can get to go home the same day. Since the surgery is done from the inside of the nostrils, there’ll be no external bruise of the surgery.
But each case varies depending on the condition of the severity of the case.
If the situation isn’t difficult, septoplasty isn’t typically operated on young children. Since the kids’ facial development are yet to form completely, the doctors suggest operating the surgery after the age of 15 when the nasal structure is formed.
With the advancing technologies, newer methods have become available. Here surgeons use the balloon septoplasty technique, which helps them avoid actual surgery. This balloon septoplasty is mainly used for mild deviated septum cases. These are operated in the office setting.
You should consider visiting an ENT specialist if you have been facing above mentioned symptoms and have yourself diagnosed as there are several possibilities you’re experiencing them. Whether it’s nasal allergies or chronic sinusitis, it shouldn’t be left untreated for long.
Enlarged turbinates – medically known as “turbinate hypertrophy”. This condition usually occurs due to the inflammation of the turbinate covering mucosal membranes.
The bony structures in the nose are called turbinates. Their job is to regulate the airflow and maintain humidity in the air you breathe. We have three turbinates – inferior, middle, and superior turbinates – in each nostril and all of them are made of soft tissues and bones.
You might get your turbinates enlarged because of chronic sinusitis or rhinitis. The inflammation can potentially enlargen one of the three turbinates in your nose. Also, if your turbinate is misplaced or thickened for some reason, you find it hard to breathe normally. Seasonal allergens are another cause that can leave you with enlarged turbinate.
The condition shows some more symptoms other than troubled breathing :
- Light facial pain
- Altered smell sense
- Feeling pressure on the forehead
- Mouth drying up during sleep
- Runny nose
- Long-term nasal congestion
The symptoms are more like a stubborn cold. The above ones accompany some more common symptoms:
- Aging process
- Congenital variations
- Environmental irritants like cigar smoke
- Hormonal changes
The best choice is to consult a doctor if you’ve seen any symptoms present in your body. Help the ENT doctor by providing information like your current physical condition and symptoms.
The doctor will examine your nose with the help of a 4mm nasal endoscope. This helps your doctor pinpoint the source of the nasal congestion and help them picture the sinus and nasal passages. Since conditions vary from patient to patient, the doctors might order allergy tests and CT scans for some patients.
After the final diagnosis, your ENT doctor will discuss the treatment approaches with you.
The treatment varies from nasal sprays to medications to surgeries. Your doctor will refer you to the most suitable treatment for your condition.
If the medications or sprays aren’t improving the patient’s condition, the doctor will consider performing surgery to reduce the enlarged turbinate.
Mostly used and available surgeries are :
- RFA ( Radiofrequency Ablation )
- SMR ( Submucosal Reduction )
- ITBR ( Inferior turbinate bone resection )
- PIT ( Partial inferior turbinectomy )
- SMD ( Submucosal diathermy )
The turbinate surgeries are usually complicated since the doctor mustn’t remove the turbinates completely as they play a significant role in your body. Removing them will cause you to suffer from a stuffy and dry nose for the rest of your life.
While tears are the way to ensure the good health of your eyes, an uncontrolled amount of tears in the eyes can lead to the opposite result.
The medical term for the watery eye is epiphora. It’s a condition where your tear ducts produce too much water without proper reason or if the tears can’t drain thoroughly using the nasolacrimal system.
People aged less than 12 months or more than 60 years usually suffer from epiphora. The condition can occur to one or both eyes. The good news is that treatment is available that can improve the condition efficiently.
Here are the symptoms you’ll notice if you have epiphora:
- Blurry vision
- Sharp pain
- Enlarged and visible blood vessels
- Light sensitivity
- Eyelid swelling
There might be a lot of reasons for epiphora, and only your doctor will be able to diagnose that accurately. But two main reasons that you might get this condition are tear duct obstruction and tear over-production.
There are several more causes that can result in one or both your eyes tearing up:
- Eye injury
- Chemical exposure
- Allergic conjunctivitis
- Pink eye
- Inflammation / infection
- Flu and cold
- Dry eyes
- Nasal injury
People are also born with such obstructions. These are genetic.
Some medication also causes epiphora:
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Topical blood pressure medicines
The doctors don’t need to run any specific tests to detect epiphora, and it’s self-evident. But to determine the root of the cause, you might be recommended to visit an ophthalmologist ( eye care specialist ).
The mild cases of epiphora don’t necessarily require any special treatment, and the doctor might ask you to wait till the healing time. But if the case is moderate to severe, treatment is needed, and the doctor will decide the medication according to your condition.
Here are some treatments the doctors might approach you with:
- Antibiotic drops to address the bacterial conjunctivitis
- Removal of an ingrown eyelash / foreign object from the eye
- Performing surgery to treat the outwarded eyelids
- Dacryocystorhinostomy, or in simple words, clearing a blocked tear duct
You shouldn’t take chances whenever you feel like your eyes are watering abnormally. Have your eyes checked, reduce screen time, and give them proper rest.
The medical term for nose bleed is Epistaxis. Nose bleed usually means losing blood from tissues lining your nose. There’s a chance that a nose bleed can affect both the nostrils, but mostly it happens in one. Nose bleeds are prevalent in children of 3-10 years old and adults.
Noses tend to be quite fragile and bleed very easily. This is because several blood vessels in the nose are closely positioned to the surface in the rear and front sides of the nose.
While most of the nosebleeds are not that serious, some nosebleeds can be major. The severe nosebleeds stem from bigger vessels on the backside of the nose. This kind of nosebleeds tends to occur when there’s an injury in older people or kids.
The nosebleeds can be categorised into two – anterior nosebleed and posterior nosebleed. The latter is more dangerous as the blood flows downwards to the throat’s back.
Several factors cause nosebleeds :
- Living in dry weather and inhaling dry air
- Picking the crust of the nose caused by the dry climate
- Chemical irritants
- Constant and repetitive sneezing
- Foreign / harmful objects getting stuck inside the nose
- Upper respiratory infection
- Nasal injury
- Blood clotting disorders
You might not need to worry about most nosebleeds, but if the bleeding doesn’t stop even after 20 minutes, it is serious, and you should get medical help.
As it’s apparent, there isn’t any diagnosis required to detect the nosebleed.
When you visit a doctor for nosebleed treatment, your doctor will examine your body to determine any cause. You’ll get your nose checked too for any presence of a foreign body.
Give your doctor your previous and current medication history, symptoms, and recent wound. To figure out what’s causing the nosebleed, the doctor might recommend some tests to help them conclude. The tests can be a CBC, nasal endoscopy, nasal and facial X-ray, PTT, and a nose CT scan.
The treatment for Epistaxis will vary depending on the severity of how bad your nose bleeding condition is. This treatment can include :
- Cauterisation helps to seal the blood vessel that’s bleeding
- Eliminating foreign body from the nose that’s causing the nosebleed
- Nasal packing – where there are special nasal foam / sponges / inflatable latex balloons, gauze is inserted into the nose to put pressure on the bleeding site, and it is usually left like that for 24-48 hours
- Excluding the thinner medication
- Ligation – where the bleeding blood vessel is tied off
The best practice is to keep an eye out for injuries and pick your nose. But accidents aren’t predictable. That’s what the treatments are for.
HayFever – alternatively known as allergic rhinitis – is a condition that shows symptoms like cold. You might experience congestion, sinus pressure, sneezing, and runny nose.
While cold is caused due to viruses, hay fever is caused by different allergens. Here are some allergens that trigger hay fever:
- Dust mites
- Animal feather / fur
- Pet’s saliva
- Pet’s flecks etc.
Moreover, there are nonallergenic irritants involved too that cause hay fever, for instance – perfumes, cigarettes, cleaning products, smokes, strong odours, and many more.
If you’re in doubt that you might have been exposed to any of these allergens, check the following symptoms :
- Postnasal drip
- Nasal congestion
- Blue and swollen skin under eyes
- Allergic conjunctivitis ( itchy and watery eyes )
- Itchy throat or nose, or roof of the mouth
When you find these symptoms matching yours, visit an allergist and get diagnosed.
Your doctor will get your blood samples for an IgE test to count your antibodies. This is to detect if you have any sort of allergies in your body, which even includes food allergies.
You might also need to get a prick test done to check what allergens are your culprit.
Once your allergy condition is diagnosed, your specialist will give you medications in the form of pills, nasal sprays, liquids, injections, and eye drops. You might be suggested to take antihistamines, decongestants, immunotherapy, or anything that’s most suitable for you.
Make sure you discuss with your doctor before taking any medication. Take extra caution if you’ve any existing health issues or are pregnant.
You can’t avoid or prevent hay fever. There are only cures for this. So, suppose you have been experiencing the symptoms mentioned above and have been diagnosed with hay fever. In that case, we recommend you reduce your exposure to allergens that are causing allergic rhinitis. Maintain proper routine advised by your doctor, have your medication before the allergen exposure, and complete your medication course.
The growth lining of the sinuses or nose is called nasal polyps. These are painless, noncancerous, and soft. The nasal polyps can be found in the bone’s hollow spaces near your nose, sinuses, and nasal passages. They’re made from the soft and thin tissues lining body parts named mucous membranes.
These polyps tend to get swollen and irritated, eventually blocking your sinuses and nasal passage. Nasal polyps usually develop later in adulthood, like in the 30s or 40s, and it’s mostly connected to nose’s inflammation like
- Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Repeat sinus or some other infections
- Allergic rhinitis like hay fever or other allergies
There are some common symptoms of nasal polyps :
- Postnasal drip
- Facial pain
- Runny nose
- Loss of taste and smell
- Pressure on face and forehead
- Painful upper teeth
If you see any symptoms lasting more than ten days, consider consulting a doctor. The proper medication and surgery will help relieve the pain and even shrink nasal polyps.
Your polyps can be seen with the help of an instrument with light. Your doctor will inquire about your condition to help with the diagnosis. You might even have to get a nasal examination and a general physical exam.
But there are more diagnostic tests to help get accurate results:
- Nasal endoscopy helps the doctor to examine your nose more precisely
- With the help of imaging studies, your doctor uses images collected using computerised tomography and gets a more accurate placement and size of the polyp inside your nose
- Your doctor can use these studies to exclude any potential nasal blockades or any other benign / malignant tissue growth
- You might also be asked to test for cystic fibrosis since it is an inherited condition that affects the juice ( tear, mucous, saliva, etc.) productive glands
- A blood test to determine the level of Vit-D in your blood as low Vit-D is related to nasal polyps
When your doctor is done with the diagnosis, it’s time for the treatment. The purpose of the treatment is to either get rid of the polyp for good or at least reduce the size.
While medications are the primary method, polyps often require surgical attention. However, since polyps usually recur, medication or surgery is not the permanent fix.
Here are some treatments the doctors prefer to use for nasal polyps:
- Steroid pills (oral use)
- Endoscopy to eliminate the polyp if other treatments fail
- Steroid in spray form to reduce polyp size
- Antibiotics if you have any infection
Although it’s possible to treat most of the symptoms with surgery, if you’ve lost some of the smell senses, you’ve probably lost it forever.
Pituitary surgery eliminates the tumour around or on the pituitary gland.
Pituitary tumours are pretty common, and many people don’t even notice that they have the tumour. This happens because pituitary tumours don’t tend to show symptoms that can affect anyone’s daily life.
However, the tumours can interfere with the hormone levels, leading to several health issues and potentially damaging surrounding nerves like the optic.
While there are multiple options available for pituitary surgeries, almost none of them involve any visible incisions.
The tumour’s location will decide which surgery approach the neurosurgeon will choose. Like if the tumour is in the sphenoid sinus – the nasal cavity’s part – the neurosurgeon can choose to remove the pituitary tumour through the nose or the top of the skull.
Transsphenoidal surgery is the most used approach to eliminate a tumour where the neurosurgeon operates on the tumour through the sphenoid sinus in the nose.
The reason it’s most commonly used is because, during the surgery, none of the brain’s parts are touched. So, the risk of brain damage is almost zero. This is a lengthy surgery, and it’s even harder to remove big tumours through this approach.
However, there are some side effects. But the good news is that there will be no visible scar.
If your tumour is larger or sitting deep in the brain, your neurosurgeon will try an alternative approach operating through the skull. This surgery procedure is known as a craniotomy. This process includes an incision on the scalp and removing your skull’s part so the neurosurgeon can easily access the brain.
Pituitary surgeries usually take two to three hours.
Your recovery depends on the doctor’s approach. If your surgeon operates through the nose or under the lip, you’ll be discharged after 1 to 3 days and go back to your normal routine within the next 1 to 2 weeks. However, if your surgeon decides to go your skull, it’ll take longer – about 3 to 9 days to go home, and full recovery might take 4 to 6 weeks.
You must maintain some do’s and don’ts strictly during this time.
- Attend every follow-up visit
- Strictly follow the doctor’s instructions about sleep, exercise, and activity
- Stay positive
- Don’t try to take every matter to your hand
- Don’t make any changes in your medications without consulting the doctor
- Don’t stop yourself from asking any question to your doctor if you have any doubt regarding anything
- Don’t burden yourself beyond your capability
Transnasal or transsphenoidal, it doesn’t matter which procedure your neurosurgeon used; there’ll be post-operative visits every 3 to 6 months after the surgery. The visits can include endocrinology consultation, MRIs, and ophthalmologist visits too.
It depends on your conditions how your doctor will plan the follow-ups, and you must maintain that.
Surgery that’s performed to reshape the nose is medically known as rhinoplasty. People usually go through rhinoplasty due to medical reasons or beauty enhancement.
Whether you’re having trouble breathing due to nasal cartilage problems or you simply want to reduce your nose size, rhinoplasty is the recommended option by doctors.
There are different types of rhinoplasty available:
- Reshaping the tip of the nose
- Nose hump removal
- Expanding breathing passages
- Reducing / increasing nostril’s size
- Straightening / fixing the nose bridge
- Reducing / increasing nose size
- Repairing the damaged nose due to injury
Keep in mind that it’s not advised for teenagers to undergo a nose job until they have an adult size nose. The right age for girls to get a nose job is 15/16 and for boys, it’s 16/17.
One more thing to remember is that rhinoplasty is a complicated surgery. There might be some risks involved, and it can be pretty costly too. So, make sure you discuss everything with your doctor in detail and give your decision some thinking.
However, if you’ve already made up your mind, it’s your job to choose a reliable facility for the nose job.
Arrange a meeting with your surgeon and tell them your condition, thoughts, and expectations from the surgery.
While there’s nothing like a 100% perfect nose, but your surgeon will consider your expectations and explain what would work best for your medical condition / facial structure and enhance your features.
Your surgeon will take notes of your expectations and evaluate your nose structures, including facial features. This will help them conclude if your expectations are doable or not.
Your surgeon will discuss your previous health condition, recovery, risks, expenses, and surgery techniques further.
If you have health insurance, you might want to talk to the insurer beforehand but keep in mind that the health insurance only pays for health-related procedures and doesn’t cover cosmetic reasons.
You’ll be sedated using local anesthesia during the procedure, and the doctor will numb your nose. The surgeon then moves on to making cuts and reshaping the nose.
Since this is an outpatient process, you don’t need to stay overnight. One of the most important things to remember is that you’ve to keep your head raised post-surgery for a minimum of 24 hours. You might have to wear a nasal splint for about seven days or so.
You might see some bruising and swelling for a while, but they’ll go away on their own. It might take about six months for your nose to be healed completely.
In the case of nose jobs, the slightest measurements – even millimetres – can make significant differences. If you’re satisfied with the outcome, congratulations. However, if you think you want more changes done, you have to wait 12 months (at least) from the first surgery as your nose can change, throughout this time.
The cancerous or benign tumours that occur in the sinuses or nose are called sinus / sinonasal tumours. Such tumours are rare. These tumours are more common in men than in women.
There are several types of tumours found in sinuses or noses. They are:
- Inverted papilloma’s
- Transitional cell carcinoma
- Metastatic carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Giant cell tumour
- Adenoid cystic carcinoma
You’ll experience little to no symptoms for your sinus tumours. However, some mild symptoms can include nasal discharges, headaches, or facial swelling. And some people don’t show any signs at all.
Although these sinus tumours barely show any sign, you can try looking for the following ones if the symptoms are staying too long.
- Post-nasal drip
- Painful forehead, nose, eyes, cheek, and ears
- Blurry vision
- Trouble to open mouth
- Smell or taste loss
- Constant nasal congestion
- Runny eyes
- Bleeding frequently through the nose
- Feeling numb in the teeth and face
- Ear infections that recur
- Trouble to hear properly
Get yourself checked up if you face any of the above symptoms.
The doctor will start with noting your medical history and running a physical examination to diagnose your sinus tumours. They will use a little fibre-optic scope to get a better vision of your sinuses or nasal cavity.
If the doctors doubt there might be a cancerous situation, they will ask you to get imaging studies like MRI, CT scan, and PET scan done to diagnose the tumour’s location and any spread or metastases.
Before starting the treatment, your doctor will ask you to get a biopsy done to make the final diagnosis.
Surgical treatments are the main treatment for sinus tumours. The most approached three treatments include radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy.
Which surgery will be the best for you depends on your tumour’s size, if it has spread anywhere, and preferable to your doctors. For example, if the size of your tumour is small, the doctor will go for a slightly invasive approach like an endoscopic approach. But if your tumour has spread to the brain, cheeks, nerves, or eye, you’ll have to undergo an open surgical procedure.
Radiation and therapy can be used on their own to treat the tumours, but sometimes the condition calls for a combined treatment. A combination of radiotherapy and surgery is required to address specific conditions.
The skull base is the bony part that helps separate your brain from facial structures like eyes, ear canals, nasal cavities, and the upper neck. Since several major blood vessels, nerves, and many more structures go through this part, the treatment for skull base conditions becomes complicated. It’s pretty challenging for the neurosurgeons.
There are varieties of skull base disorders, like :
- Acoustic neuromas
- Inverted papilloma
- Pituitary tumours
- Paraganglioma (glomus tumours)
- Cholesterol granuloma
- Fibrous dysplasia
- Sinus tumours
- Endolymphatic sac tumours
- Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks
All of these conditions come with their individual symptom sets. However, broadly speaking, if there’s a tumour present in the skull, malignant or not, you’ll feel pressure on certain vital parts of your brain, and that will lead to the following symptoms:
- Firm swollen glands in your neck
- Struggling to swallow
- Smell loss
- Hoarse voice
- Fat amount increase around your neck
- Blood with cough or nasal discharge
- Hard to improve nasal congestion
- Struggling to move your tongue or jaw
- Hearing loss
- Double vision
- Visible red or white patches on the gum
These symptoms usually take longer to show presence in the body, so it’s recommended that you keep your body in the check-up and see a doctor whenever you feel the symptoms above.
To address and treat the skull base conditions, the neurosurgeons will take note of your previous and current health issues, chemotherapy medication intake, or any other part treatments.
The doctors might use MRI, image guidance technology, or CT scans to get accurate results. To treat the skull base condition, your surgeon will use surgical methods.
However, what kind of surgical approach your doctor chooses will depend on the type and location of your condition. For example, if you have lesions in the sinuses, along the brain’s base, or in the nasal cavity, your neurosurgeon will choose to operate through the nose.
Again, if you have any tumours present in your skull base and near your ears, the best approach is around or through the ear.
Surgery alone isn’t sufficient sometimes. Your neurosurgeon might recommend getting radiation therapy. So, you might need to take radiation therapy as the main treatment or surgery.
The ultimate goal is to remove / reduce the tumour or treat skull base conditions without damaging healthy brain tissues.
Making loud breathing noises during sleep is known as snoring, and when you don’t breathe at all during sleep, it’s known as sleep apnoea.
Both of these conditions are interconnected. People whose snoring condition is terrible is most likely to end up with sleep apnoea. Everyone suffering from sleep apnoea struggle to breathe and eventually wake up with a loud snort.
So, how can you tell if it’s just simple snoring or sleep apnoea?
The difference lies in the way you’re feeling throughout the daytime. If you don’t feel drowsy or weak in the morning, it’s doubtlessly snoring since snoring doesn’t disturb your regular sleep schedule or quality. And that’s precisely what sleep apnoea does to you. When you keep waking up frequently during nightly sleep, you’re bound to feel exhaustion, sleepiness, and extreme fatigue in the morning.
Here are some simple symptoms of snoring and sleep apnoea:
- Restless legs
- Snoring loudly
- Having headaches in the daytime
- Gasping for air
- The mouth becomes dry when waking up
Several reasons are snoring, and sleep apnoea occurs.
Snoring mainly appears due to old age, medications, sleeping positions, viral infections accompanying nasal congestion, nasal polyps, and many more.
Sleep apnoea happens because of nasal congestion, underlying neurological problems, lax muscles, and stored fat / thickened tissue near the airway.
If your bed partner shares that you have symptoms similar to snoring or sleep apnoea, and you feel the same way, you might want to visit the specialist.
Share your experience and history with the doctor and let them examine you first. If needed, you might have to visit a sleep disorder centre where a sleep specialist will continue the further examination.
This evaluation at the sleep centre involves monitoring your nightly breathing and body functioning.
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with snoring or sleep apnoea, your treatment will be started right away with some simple lifestyle changes :
- In case you’re overweight, shed the extra pounds
- If you have any chronic allergies, get them treated
- Make sure you’re sleeping on your side
- Use an external nasal dilator or some nasal strips
- Cut down on alcohol before going to bed
- Quit smoking
These solutions are mostly for mild cases. If the doctors don’t notice any improvement in your condition, more treatments like CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) are needed to treat moderate to severe cases.
And if there still isn’t any improvement, the last resort would be surgery. Surgeries like tissue removal, tracheostomy, implants, jaw repositioning, and several other surgical options are available to treat the snoring and sleep apnoea condition.