Turbinate Reduction Virginia
The nasal turbinates are the humidifiers of the nose. There are 3 to 4 turbinates on each side of the nose, opposite to the septum. While the nasal septum is stationary and usually does not move, the nasal turbinates are covered with a vascular spongy lining that engorges and swells up at times then shrinks down at other times, creating whats known as “the nasal cycle.” Allergies, crying, laying down, smoke, and other factors can cause the turbinates to swell up further and obstruct the nose especially if the septum is already somewhat deviated.
Since 60% of the nasal airflow typically crosses the bottom part or “floor of the nose,” the inferior (bottom) turinates are the ones that often benefit from reduction. The key is reduction and not complete removal of the turbinates because they are important in nasal health and humidification and total removal or over aggressive turbinate reduction can lead to a horrible and crippling problem known as “atrophic rhinitis” or “empty nose syndrome.”