If you’re experiencing a nasal airway obstruction, or NAO, it’s likely the problem has significantly affected your quality of life. After all, nasal airway obstruction can affect everything from how well you breathe and sleep to your athletic performance and your body’s overall absorption of oxygen. It also can cause facial tension, headaches and feelings of anxiety. Most of all, though, nasal airway obstruction can lead to mouth breathing, which itself can lead to a host of other issues. For all these reasons, it’s important to find and treat a nasal airway obstruction quickly.
Blount Memorial otolaryngologist Dr. Bryan Tigner, who sees patients at Blount Memorial Physicians Group – Ear, Nose and Throat, says many people underestimate the adverse effects of chronic NAO and mouth breathing. “Most people consider a condition like mouth breathing a nuisance, but don’t think much beyond that,” he said. “However, mouth breathing can lead to poor sleep; dry mouth; dry lips; a dry and scratchy sore throat; morning headaches; dental issues, such as increased cavities and bad breath; a malocclusion of the teeth, hard palate and jaw; and, in children, a disruption of normal facial development,” Tigner explained.
“One of my specialties is the diagnosis and treatment of proper nasal breathing,” Tigner continued. “I can treat nasal obstruction both medically and surgically. I also offer allergy testing and allergy treatments, including allergy shots, to treat medical causes of nasal airway obstruction. Some nasal airway obstruction treatments, such as the Vivaer procedure, are simple, in-office procedures, however I also offer surgical treatment of nasal obstruction through procedures such as septoplasty to correct a deviated septum,” he explained. “I work closely with a team of health care providers at Blount Memorial – including speech therapists, occupational therapists and sleep medicine specialists – to accurately diagnose and provide long-term solutions for nasal airway obstruction and mouth breathing in children and adults. Also, I collaborate with local dentists and orthodontists to help prevent and treat complications from nasal airway obstruction and mouth breathing,” he added.
Tigner says education about the importance of proper nasal breathing is a key goal. “There has been an explosion in the cases of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and sleep-disordered breathing, and a lot of this can be traced back to NAO and mouth breathing,” Tigner said. “Additionally, people who mouth breathe typically take on a head forward posture that leads to neck and back problems. Working with a diverse team of health care providers helps me to recognize these issues and get patients the appropriate care. The bottom line is: if you breathe better, you will sleep better and if you sleep better, your mind and body will function better. If your mind and body are sharp, you will live better. That is my goal for patients,” he said.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tigner call Blount Memorial Physicians Group – Ear, Nose and Throat at 865-238-6460.