Nasal Valve Collapse - The nasal valve is the section of the airway located just beyond the nostrils. If the fleshy tunnels that form the airway are narrow or overly flexible, they can collapse inward as you inhale. Sometimes visible from the outside, nasal valve collapse restricts the flow of air, causing the stuffy nose sensation.
The primary disorders leading to nasal valve collapse include narrow or excessively weak lateral nasal walls. This condition can be congenital, or can appear and worsen as a person gets older. In many cases, nasal valve collapse can be a side effect of aesthetic plastic surgery (also known as rhinoplasty), in which too much of the cartilage that supports the frame of the nose is removed, weakening the cartilage and tissue that remains.
When examining a patient to determine the presence and severity of nasal valve collapse, the doctor may use an endoscope to capture an image of the internal shape of the nasal passage. Another assessment test, intended to reveal impingement on the airway, is called Cottle's maneuver. This quick, non-invasive procedure involves placing the fingers on the cheek on one side of the nose and gently pulling laterally, away from the nose.
The information listed on this site is for informational and educational purposes and is not meant as medical advice. Every patient's case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor's specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation.