Sinus Infection and Chronic Nasal Congestion
People suffering from chronic nasal congestion are likely to suffer regularly from chronic
All of us have experienced nasal congestion in our lives. The common causes of nasal congestion
a. Viral influenza
b. The common cold
c. Allergic reaction to airborne irritants (commonly known as hay fever) such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites etc.
Such episodes of nasal congestion are usually short-term and merely symptoms of the
However, Chronic Nasal Congestion is somewhat different. A person is deemed to have chronic
nasal congestion when the nasal passages are mostly clogged up even though he is perfectly healthy.
Direct causes of chronic nasal
1. Deviated Septum
The nasal septum is the bone and cartilage in the nose that separates the nasal cavity into the
two nostrils. Normally, the septum lies centrally, separating the nasal passages into two equal halves.
A deviated septum is an abnormal condition caused when the top of the cartilaginous ridge leans
either to the left or the right. Obstruction of the affected nasal passage then results leading to poor drainage of
2. Enlarged nasal turbinates
A nasal turbinate is a long, narrow shell-like curled bone which protrudes into the breathing
passage of the nose. Its main purpose is to help warm and humidify the inhaled air before it reaches the lungs.
Chronic nasal congestion impairs normal breathing as it forces patients to breathe through the
Infant nasal congestion in the first few months of life can interfere with feeding and could
cause life-threatening breathing problems.
Nasal congestion and enlarged turbinates can also contribute to sinus headaches, poor quality
sleep, snoring and sleep/breathing disorders such as sleep apnea.
Indirect cause of chronic nasal
Many ENT specialists today are aware that certain food groups can cause severe allergic
reactions to people. Certain staple foods which we consume on a daily basis can give rise to increased mucus
production from our mucosal membranes.
Dairy products derived from cow’s milk are the most mucus-forming of all. Milk, including skim
milk, butter, cheese, cream, etc. belong to this category.
Soy beans and soy-derived products are the most mucus-forming of all plant foods. Eggs are known
to have a high mucus-forming index.
So, evidently, chronic nasal congestion is a subtle indication of food allergy. The allergy
causes the mucosal membrane surrounding the inferior turbinates to swell causing nasal obstruction and the nasal
passages then becomes blocked and clogged up.
Sinus Infection and Chronic Nasal
When a person’s nose is obstructed, the natural ventilation of the nasal passages and sinuses
This allows bacteria to multiply within the sinuses resulting in bacteria overload.
If the immune system of the person is strong, the body’s natural defenses can suppress the bacteria buildup within
But unfortunately, those with a weakened immune system will succumb to the bacterial overload
and sinus infection often results.
In order to prevent sinus infection and sinus symptoms successfully, it is imperative
that chronic nasal congestion must be treated as early as possible.
For those people who are born with naturally large inferior turbinates, it is common for then to
have all-year round nasal congestion and blocked nose even though they are not suffering from any medical
People suffering from chronic nasal congestion have exceptionally high incidences of chronic sinus infection.
Latest Medical Treatment for Enlarged Nasal
Thermal ablation with radiofrequency energy is a recently developed non-surgical procedure for
the reduction of enlarged turbinates. It involves using an electrode to heat the turbinate tissue from within the
This causes the size of the turbinate to be reduced. With this method, there is little or no
bleeding and pain.
Thermal ablation with radiofrequency is minimally invasive and is done in the clinic with only
local anesthesia. The patient can resume normal activity almost immediately.
This procedure also preserves the normal function of the turbinate resulting in excellent
ventilation of the nasal passages and sinuses.
Sinus infection and chronic nasal congestion are closely related. Successful treatment of nasal
congestion problems can very well prevent sinus infection or sinusitis from recurring.