The nasal valves are small but essential structures in the nose that control airflow through the nasal passages. They are located in the front of the nostrils and form the narrowest part of the nasal canal.
Layout and function:
The nasal valves comprise several components, including the lateral nasal wall, the alar cartilage, and the septum. They act as a valve mechanism that regulates airflow, filters, warms, and humidifies the inhaled air, protecting the deeper respiratory tract.
Importance for breathing:
A well-functioning nasal valve is crucial for efficient nasal breathing. Narrowing or blockage of the nasal valves can lead to difficult nasal breathing and related problems such as dry mouth, snoring or sleep apnea.
Various diseases can affect the function of the nasal valves. These include structural abnormalities, trauma, inflammation or postoperative changes. A common condition is nasal valve insufficiency, in which the nasal valves cannot effectively control airflow, resulting in impaired breathing.
Diagnosis and treatment:
The diagnosis of nasal valve insufficiency is usually made through a clinical examination, often supplemented by imaging tests or special breathing tests. Treatment can be conservative with appropriate nasal sprays or surgical. Surgical therapy uses techniques that improve the structure and function of the nasal valves, allowing for more effective breathing.
The nasal valves play a central role in effective nasal breathing. Proper diagnosis and treatment of nasal valve disease are essential to relieve breathing difficulties and improve the quality of life of affected patients.