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Functional Rhinoplasty Can Improve Sleep and Snoring

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Rhinoplasty or nose job surgery, is often performed to improve the appearance of the nose, but frequently it is done to improve the function of the nose as well. A nose that looks good should also function well. Being able to move adequate air through the nasal passages is a key function of the nose. When patients are not able to breathe through the nose, particularly at night, they are predisposed to snoring, which can interfere with sleep. More important, nasal obstruction can also contribute to symptoms of sleep apnea, in which blockage of the airway causes a cyclical sleep-arousal cycle, and can predispose patients to additional health problems.

Many of the modern techniques in nasal surgery allow restoration of proper breathing by correcting collapse of the middle vault of the nose and/or collapse of the nostril sidewalls. Straightening a deviated septum, the partition that separates one side of the nose from the other, is frequently performed as part of most functional and cosmetic rhinoplasty surgeries. The removed cartilage from the septum is then used to straighten, strengthen, or rebuild the nasal framework. This can be conceptualized as accomplishing the same thing that the over the counter remedy Breathe Rite Strips (TM) do by opening the nasal passages.

By opening the breathing passages, patients are not reliant upon mouth breathing and consequently often snore less or less intensely. Many scientific studies have confirmed the role of nasal obstruction in sleep disorder breathing and have shown that correction of the obstruction can often dramatically improve the quality of sleep and quality of life in these patients.

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Source by C. Spencer Cochran, M.D.

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