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Everything you Need to Know about Empty Nose Syndrome
Those who have gone through nasal surgeries like turbinectomy may have faced ENS or Empty Nose Syndrome. Turbinectomy is a surgery that removes a part or all of the parts of the turbinate structures attached to the wall of the nose. It is a process to make the nasal passages bigger so that the person can breathe easily. Except for turbinectomy, there are other causes as well for which empty nose syndrome occurs. Let’s know about this unpleasant nose syndrome more.
Empty Nose Syndrome: What it is?
If you ask a medical professional to name one of the most serious nasal conditions, he or she will definitely mention empty nose syndrome first. Simply put, it is a case where everything seems normal but the patients feel multiple problems. In this case, the inner part of a person’s nose is wide open and dry. But, the person feels the nasal path to be blocked and dripping water comes out of the path quite often. The inferior turbinates inside the nose are found to be small, atrophic, or sometimes surgically absent.
Now, you might be wondering what are the turbinates? The turbinates are those soft, pipe-like structures within the nose that helps to warm and moisturize the air before it reaches the lungs. They are situated on both sides of the midline nasal septum. When it is healthy, it looks like a curved, grey structure. The cold air passes through the turbinates swelling them. If the air is dry, they secrete water to humidify the air. And if the air is warm and moist, the turbinates shrink. Then, it secretes less amount of water.
However, problems like empty nasal syndrome appear caused by unhealthy turbinates. In most cases, when the turbinates are removed through turbinectomy surgery, this syndrome occurs. Let’s know how it happens.
Turbinectomy Surgery and Empty Nose Syndrome
Everybody prefers to have a perfect nose structure. But unfortunately, most of us do not have it. As per the study, nearly 80% of Americans are born with off-center noses. Many also get it by accident. Off-centered noses include “deviated septum”. The septum is the bone and cartilage inside the nose. When the septum is so far from the nose’s midline that they face problematic breathing, it is called a deviated septum.
To recover from this unpleasant nasal condition, people often go for special surgeries. However, along with this common problem, there are some other issues that may lead to such surgeries.
Usually, when the surgeries take place, people recover easily. But sometimes, patients experience the problems like empty nose syndrome. So, the surgeons must keep this thing in mind while operating the patients. Now, let’s know about the symptoms of this nasal trouble.
Empty Nose Syndrome: The Symptoms
The major symptom that most of the patients have is uncomfortable breathing. As we discussed earlier, the patients cannot breathe properly despite the open inner part of the nose.
Other symptoms of this disease are nasal obstruction, nasal bleeding, dryness inside the nose, lack of sensation inside the nose, headache, dizziness, etc. Also, many patients feel tremendous pain and inflammation. Insomnia or sleep disorder is another problem that people with ENS(Empty Nose Syndrome) face. As they feel suffocated due to nasal trouble, such a problem of insomnia occurs.
Even some people lose the ability to smell. And, thus, it affects the tastebuds as well. Along with these, some of the most grievous symptoms are anxiety and depression. Yes, many people feel depressed in these cases. If any such mental health issues appear to any patient, do not wait to take necessary medical help.
So, these are the symptoms that help the doctors to identify the syndrome. As there is still no specific diagnosis process, these symptoms are the only way left. Nonetheless, some doctors perform a cotton test. It is a test in which a piece of moist cotton is inserted inside the nose near the turbinate. If it brings some relief from the inflammation and other troubles, it means the person has Empty Nose Syndrome. Though it is not a widely acknowledged process, it sometimes helps to diagnose the syndrome easily.
Empty Nose Syndrome and Its Treatments
As professional doctors say, there is still no definite treatment for the syndrome. Doctors prescribe certain remedies that relieve the pain and other symptoms. Some moisturizers like saline spray or gel are recommended to humidify the inner part of the nose. But if you are using such spray or gel, you should use anti-biotic nasal spray along with it. It helps to keep the bacterias away from spreading inside the nose.
Though there are medicines and sprays to cure this problem, you should try some useful techniques at home. Let’s know about them. You can use a humidifier while sleeping. It will keep the room humid. Thus, you won’t be in a problem of dry nose. If you have breathing trouble, take the help of a CPAP(Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. Always try to live in a warm and humid environment. And have warm drinks often. This helps to keep the nasal part warm and humid. In this way, you can keep the symptoms under control.
Bottom the Line
As we said, there is no such complete cure for Empty Nose Syndrome. So, the surgeons and the patients must keep this factor in mind while going for surgeries like turbinectomy. And if unfortunately, ENS occurs, get in such with a professional ENT specialist immediately.
As they specialize in treating the issues related to ear, nose, and throat they can help you with the necessary guidance on how to reduce or keep the symptoms under control. Also, try the methods mentioned above to cure the trouble after taking the doctor’s permission. If you have lost your ability to smell or taste, smelling salt can help to revive it. Of course, a doctor’s prescription is needed before using this method.