2 Indications and current treatments
2.1 Inferior turbinates are ridges inside the nose, covered by mucous membrane, which increase the surface area within the nose and help to filter and humidify inspired air. Inflammation of the mucous membrane (rhinitis) can cause inferior turbinates to swell (turbinate hypertrophy). This narrows the nasal passage, and may cause complete nasal obstruction. Symptoms include breathing difficulties, excessive mucous secretion (rhinorrhoea), postnasal drip, facial discomfort or pain and mid-facial headaches.
2.2 Treatment options depend on the duration and severity of turbinate hypertrophy. Medical treatments include corticosteroid injections, nasal corticosteroid sprays and decongestants. Surgical treatments include microdebrider-assisted turbinoplasty and laser-assisted turbinoplasty. These procedures are reserved for patients with persistent symptomatic turbinate hypertrophy that has not responded to medical management, or for patients in whom medical management is contraindicated.