Sometimes the anatomy of your nasal passageway can obstruct your airflow during sleep, causing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring. Nasal obstruction also can also make some sleep apnea interventions less effective, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks and oral or dental devices. The effects of nasal obstruction on your sleep quality can mean you feel more daytime fatigue.
Common causes of nasal obstruction include:
- Deviated nasal septum (the wall between your nostrils)
- Enlarged nasal turbinates (the passages that run on either side of the bridge of your nose)
- Narrowing or collapsing of the nasal openings
- Nasal polyps, which are noncancerous growths on the inside of the nasal passageway
- Inflammation of the nasal passageway due to allergies or other irritants
Sometimes nasal airflow difficulties are caused by more than one of these factors.
Your physician may recommend such nonsurgical interventions as:
- Nasal saline solution
- Antihistamine sprays
- Oral medication
- Nasal strips
- Consultation with an allergist
These nonsurgical options might be recommended in addition to surgical treatments to remove obstructions, correct anatomical issues and widen nasal passageways.