What causes of nasal obstruction?

Updated: Jul 13, 2021
  • Author: Samuel J Lin, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Septal deviation

Turbinate hypertrophy


Septal perforation

Valvular collapse

Choanal atresia


Polyposis [26]

Allergic rhinitis

Septal hematoma

Septal perforation

Rhinitis medicamentosa

Vasomotor rhinitis

Sinusitis [27]

Mucosal vasodilation from pathogen-induced histamine release may cause allergic nasal obstruction. Inflammation and drainage from sinusitis may contribute to obstruction. Septal deviation is a common cause of obstruction. The relative size of turbinate hypertrophy is important because 50% of airflow is in the middle portion of the airway. Turbinates adjacent to a septal perforation may hypertrophy secondary to nasal airway turbulence, causing further airway resistance. Valvular collapse secondary to insufficient cartilaginous support may cause nasal obstruction. In addition, rhinoplasty may be the significant factor in iatrogenic nasal obstruction.

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