The nasal cavity is surrounded by several paranasal sinuses (maxillary sinuses, frontal sinuses, ethmoidal sinuses, and the sphenoidal sinuses). Infections on the paranasal sinuses can cause several complaints, from a blocked nose to a smell disorder and from a runny nose to headaches. The ENT specialist will examine the inside of the nose, often with the use of a small camera. The complaints can often be treated with medication. When this is not sufficient or possible, a CT scan of the paranasal sinuses can be made and/or surgery may be necessary to widen the access to the sinuses.
Nasal polyps are noncancerous growths in the sinuses/nasal cavity. They often only cause a blocked nose, but they can also sometimes give other complaints (reduced smell, a runny nose, headaches). Nasal polyps can be treated with medication. When this is insufficiently effective, we can decide to surgically remove the polyps.
Allergies are hypersensitive reactions to certain substances (so-called allergens). These reactions can cause nasal complaints such as sneezing, itching in the nose and eyes, and an obstruction of the nasal cavity. The ENT specialist will examine the nose to see which factors play a role in the nasal complaints. In most cases, medication will be the first step to get the complaints under control.
Nosebleeds can sometimes cause anxiety as it may seem that a person is losing a lot of blood. Fortunately, it is generally an inconvenient but harmless condition. However, when a person regularly suffers from nosebleeds, we can decide to cauterise a blood vessel. When someone suffers from a heavy nosebleed, it can be necessary to insert a nasal packing or tampon.
The website of the Dutch Society for Otorhinolaryngology, under the tab ‘patienteninformatie’, offers a lot of information about what you can do in case of a nosebleed: www.kno.nl.
There are various causes for a reduced or absent smell, such as trauma or injury to the head, surgery, infection of the nasal mucous membrane, obstruction of the airflow due to, e.g., polyps, or smoking. The ENT specialist will examine whether treatable causes can be found. Unfortunately, a cause may not always be found and it regularly happens that the smell disorder can hardly or not to be treated.
Nasal obstruction and/or cosmetic nasal complaints
Disorders of the nasal mucous membrane (for example polyps or allergies) can sometimes result in an obstruction of the nose. The anatomy of the nose, however, can also be the cause of an obstruction of the nasal passage. When, for example, there is a significant deviation of the nasal septum, then this can be straightened to improve the nasal passage. When the nose has become crooked after a trauma or when someone has a congenital malformation of the nose, an internal and external nose surgery (rhinoplasty) can be carried out. This will offer a correction of the nasal passage as well as an improvement of the external appearance of the nose.
More information about the above-mentioned conditions can be found on the website of the Dutch Society for Otorhinolaryngology.