Breathing Easy: How Rhinoplasty Can Help Alleviate Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
When you think of ways that cosmetic surgery can change the way someone looks, a nose job might be one of the first procedures that comes to mind. A cosmetic rhinoplasty can noticeably alter a patient’s appearance — after all, the nose is a major focal point of the face. But nose jobs are not just about external changes: there are several unseen benefits to nasal surgery.
Outcomes show that rhinoplasties can also fix nasal concerns that exacerbate allergies and cause difficulty breathing, including a deviated septum, turbinate hypertrophy and nasal polyps.
Nearly 80 percent of people have an off-center septum. The vast majority of these cases are slight deviations that go unnoticed, but moderate and serious instances can result in headaches, bloody noses, difficulty breathing and increased susceptibility to sinusitis.
A corrective rhinoplasty — also called a septoplasty — is a typical solution for a deviated septum, especially when the deviation is significant enough to cause health concerns. Cosmetic rhinoplasties can also correct deviated septums during surgery, particularly if your deviated septum is a result of a slanted, off-center or crooked nose. If you have a deviated septum and allergies, straightening your septum with a rhinoplasty can considerably ease your discomfort during allergy season.
While a deviated septum does not cause allergies, it can increase the severity of allergy symptoms like congestion and sneezing.
Turbinates are like the tonsils of your nose — they are structures that project into the nostril and help filter, warm and humidify the air you breathe. There are three sets of turbinates: the inferior turbinates, positioned lowest in the nostrils; the middle turbinates above those; and the superior turbinates at the top.
In the event of an immune system reaction such as allergies or an infection, your turbinates can become swollen. This is called turbinate hypertrophy, and is most common in the inferior turbinates.
Inferior turbinate hypertrophy affects nearly everyone at some point in their life. Most people can reduce the swelling with decongestants or antihistamines, like over-the-counter allergy medications. However, some cases are chronic and don’t respond to standard treatments. In these cases, a surgical reduction of the turbinates is an option.
Turbinate reduction surgery can be performed on its own, but it can also be accomplished as part of a rhinoplasty. If you have seasonal allergies, your turbinates likely swell every time you have an allergic reaction. Reducing the size of your turbinates can mean that you become less congested and have an easier time breathing even when your allergies are in full force.
Polyps are a small, noncancerous, spherical growths that can occur in many places in your body, from your vocal cords to your colon. Nasal polyps appear along your nasal passages or in your sinuses, often as a result of constant inflammation caused by allergies, asthma or chronic sinusitis. Small nasal polyps are painless and often go unnoticed, but larger polyps can obstruct nasal airflow and even lead to a loss of smell sensation.
If you have seasonal allergies, you may have developed small nasal polyps without noticing. You may also have developed large polyps and noticed that your allergy symptoms have worsened or your breathing has become blocked. Your doctor can help you determine if you have nasal polyps, and decide on a course of action to prevent them from enlarging further.
Just like enlarged turbinates, problematic nasal polyps are often corrected with a surgical procedure. While polyps can be removed with a standalone surgery, they can also be fixed during a cosmetic or corrective rhinoplasty. Removing polyps during your rhinoplasty can improve breathing, lessen congestion and lower your risk of infection — all beneficial results especially if you suffer from seasonal allergies.
If you have seasonal allergies and dealing with your symptoms is particularly difficult, you may also have a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates or nasal polyps. A rhinoplasty can solve all of these problems by adjusting the shape of your nose to improve its functionality and appearance. At Princeton Plastic Surgeons, we are dedicated to our patients’ health beyond cosmetics. Call us today at 609-910-1114 to schedule a consultation and find out if a rhinoplasty is right for you.