The nose is the primary organ of the body that provides smell and is also a part of the respiratory system that helps the body breathe in addition to filtering dust, germs and irritants from the air. It also warms and moistens the air to keep the lungs and tubes in the respiratory system from drying out.
The most common condition related to the nose is nasal congestion, which can be caused by colds, flu, allergies or environmental factors. The nose can also be affected by a deviated septum, nasal polyps, nosebleeds, rhinitis and nasal fractures.
Pediatric nose care is also provided by our otolaryngologists. Though infants and children may commonly experience ear infections, nasal problems may also affect children. They include chronic runny noses, nasal obstructions, nasal masses, sinus infections and nosebleeds.
Hay fever or allergic rhinitis is an allergic response that causes itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, nasal congestion and puffy swollen eyelids. Hay fever is triggered by inflammation in the nose that happens when the body’s immune system overreacts to an allergen such as pollen, pet dander, mold or dust.
Loss of Smell
Loss of smell or anosmia is usually partial, but can be total in rare cases. It can be temporary or permanent depending on the cause. Loss of smell is typically not an indicator of a serious health condition, but it is important to fully taste food. If it continues, it could cause problems with eating and staying healthy.
Nosebleeds are generally not serious and can be handled easily though they can be messy. In most nosebleeds, the bleeding is coming from a blood vessel at the very front part of the nose, making them easier to control and stop. These are anterior nosebleeds.
Sinuses are a series of connected hollow cavities in the skull. A sinus infection or sinusitis typically occurs after a common cold, allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps or a deviated septum. This creates an environment where the sinuses become blocked and fill with fluid, bacteria, viruses or fungi that grow and cause an infection.
Nasal polyps are common, noncancerous growths that form in the nasal passage or the sinuses. These polyps are often associated with the presence of allergies or asthma and may cause no symptoms if they’re small. However, larger polyps may block normal sinus draining and cause infections and congestion.
Chronic rhinitis occurs when nasal nerves become activated and remain activated even after any threat has passed. These activated nerves result in nasal inflammation that produces a runny nose, nasal itching and congestion, post-nasal drip, sneezing and difficulty sleeping. Chronic rhinitis can be treated with ClariFix® cryotherapy, a minimally invasive in-office cooling treatment.
Balloon Sinuplasty is a non-invasive procedure used to relieve sinus pain and symptoms of chronic sinusitis or sinus infections. This procedure was approved in 2005 by the FDA. It is increasingly performed by ENT physicians in their office under local anesthesia.
A deviated septum is when the bone and cartilage that divide the nasal cavity in half are significantly off center or crooked and make breathing difficult. People can either be born with this condition or it can develop as result of injury or trauma to the nose.
Nasal surgery or septoplasty is a surgical procedure to realign a deviated septum. It may require the surgeon to cut and remove parts of the septum. As with any surgery, there are risks of bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to anesthesia.
Our ENT providers are experts in conditions of the nose. If you or someone you care for is experiencing problems with the nose, please contact our North Sioux City office at (605) 217-4327 to schedule an appointment.