Turbinate hypertrophy can lead to a range of health problems, from snoring and breathing difficulties to headaches and sinus issues. Dr Sukhbir Singh explains the causes, consequences and preventive ways of the same.

Hyderabad: Cases of nasal bone enlargement, often referred to as turbinate hypertrophy, have been found common in human beings. However, nasal bone enlargement doesn't change the nose's appearance but can lead to various health issues, like excessive snoring, cold or allergies, sinus problems, and headaches.

Turbinate hypertrophy, also known as nasal bone enlargement, is characterized by swelling in the nasal turbinate, structures inside the nasal passage that help humidify and filter the air we breathe. There are typically 3 or 4 turbinates in the nasal cavity, located in the upper, lower, or middle parts of the airway.

Consequences- Dr. Sukhbir Singh, a specialist in nose, ear, and throat (ENT) from Chandigarh, explains the consequences of turbinate hypertrophy.

  1. Swelling in the turbinate can narrow the air passage, which cause difficulties in breathing and leads to excessive snoring.
  2. Prolonged swelling can cause heaviness in the nose, leading to discomfort, difficulty in normal breathing, and it can even lead to mild nosebleeds.
  3. Depending on the severity and causes, individuals may experience issues like impaired smell, persistent headaches, or migraines.

Types of Turbinate Hypertrophy- Turbinate Hypertrophy is generally categorized into two types- chronic and nasal cycle.

The nasal cycle involves swelling of turbinates on one side of the nose for a temporary period. However, it can switch sides and is often linked to allergies or injuries.

Chronic turbinate hypertrophy is characterized by persistent swelling due to prolonged infection or disease, generally leading to more severe symptoms and complications.

Causes- According to Dr Sukhbir Singh, there are several conditions that can trigger turbinate hypertrophy.

  1. Pregnancy can cause temporary turbinate hypertrophy in women, which usually resolves on its own with time.
  2. Other triggers include frequent colds, infections, aging, allergies (dust, mold, environmental factors, animals), and specific diseases.

Prevention- Maintaning cleanliness and managing with allergies can be two possible preventive methods for Turbinate Hypertrophy,

  1. Taking precautions alongside treatment is crucial to prevent further triggers of turbinate hypertrophy.
  2. A dust-free and germ-free environment in and around the house is essential.
  3. Regularly cleaning bedding, clothes, and commonly used items can help reduce exposure to allergens.
  4. Individuals with environmental allergies should take extra care during the allergy season or in specific environments.
  5. Avoiding exposure to allergens such as strong sunlight or humidity is recommended.
  6. If allergic to animal hair or saliva, it's advisable to stay away from pets or keep them away from sleeping areas, seeking advice from a doctor if needed.

Turbinate hypertrophy, which can lead to a range of health problems, can be managed by adopting preventative measures. Individuals can reduce the risk of triggering turbinate hypertrophy, ultimately improving their quality of life.

Also read: Taller nose in humans inherited from Neanderthals: Study

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