Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Forum

Problems with breath , turbinate operation , empty nose synd

Must Read
Do you know the three main reasons we cough? Learn common causes of cough and when coughing might indicate a more serious health problem....
Coughing is normal. But what can cause more troublesome coughs? Learn more about possible causes of cough here....
When should you see a doctor about cough symptoms? When are symptoms a sign of further complications? Learn about cough symptoms basics here....
User Profile
Hi,I am having problems with my breath,sometimes I can not fill my lungs properly,sometimes I feel breathless,like not having any air in my chest.I have done all the tests so far,heart,lungs,blood,asthma test,ect.Everything is ok except that I have allergic rhinitis my left inferior turbinate is swollen and the right one is atrophic from a previous septum operation.I wake up while sleeping gasping for air,two or three times per night.I have read that people that have turbinate operation may develop empty nose syndrom.Any advice will be helpful.
Thank you.

Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied July 13th, 2010
Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Answer A14201
Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You seem concerned with empty nose syndrome (ENS) which is a side effect of surgical removal of nasal turbinates. The nasal turbinates are shelf-like structures in the nasal cavity and they serve to provide moisture, warmth, and airflow for breathing, and many of the body's natural defenses against infection. After such a surgery, however, the turbinates can no longer provide mucus, cilia, and enzymes to protect against infection, and secondary infections can occur regularly and in turn may require additional surgery to clear the infection. Non-surgical treatment options are meant to maintain and improve the health of the remaining nasal mucosa in the ENS nose by keeping it moist and free of infection and irritation and by maintaining a good blood supply:
-Keeping the nasal passages moist with saline based mist sprays or gels.
-Nasal irrigations of regular saline.
-Systemic medication as indicated for pain and or depression which is common (about 50%) in patients with this syndrome.
-Sleeping with a cool mist humidifier.
-Complimentary medicinal treatments such as Acupuncture, shiatsu and cranio-sacral therapy meant to improve nasal blood supply and nerve function and to reduce swelling.
-Regular daily physical exercise and maintaining good general health to reduce the risk of deterioration of symptoms.
-Surgical treatment involves narrowing back the over enlarged nasal cavity—either by bulking up the partially resected turbinates with biological implant material (in cases where at least 50% of the inferior turbinate remain from anterior to posterior) or by creating neo-turbinates through submucosal implants to the septum, nasal floor, or lateral walls (in cases when not enough turbinate is left to augment). Of course, in some cases a combined approach is the best choice. Allergic rhinitis also requires treatment as the swollen turbinates are also responsible for breathing difficulty.
So you must consult ENT doctor and choose the suitable treatment for your case as the same cannot be done online.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Note: This post is not to emphasise final diagnosis as the same cannot be made online and is aimed just to provide medical information and no treatment suggested above be taken without face to face consultation with health care professional.

Did you find this post helpful?
This question has been answered by the doctor. This topic is now open for public discussion, however no comments below this point will be answered by a doctor.
DISCLAIMER: "Ask a Doctor" questions are answered by certified physicians and other medical professionals. For more information about experts participating in the "Ask a Doctor" Network, please visit our medical experts page. You may also visit our Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders , for moderated patient to patient support and information.

The information provided on eHealth Forum is designed to improve, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician. Personal consultation(s) with a qualified medical professional is the proper means for diagnosing any medical condition.