The inferior turbinates are the gateways of our airway. Although they provide important functions such as humidifying and filtering the air we breathe, they can become problematic either due to being too large or from allergies.
The turbinates are small curved bones that extend horizontally along the wall of the nasal passage. Their purpose is to humidify and filter the air that is inhaled through the nose. The inferior turbinate fills the lower portion of the nasal airway and can become very swollen in response to allergies or infections. When a patient’s turbinate is abnormally large and does not respond to traditional therapies such as antihistamines or antibiotics, surgical intervention may be recommended.
Surgically shrinking the turbinates can provide significant relief of nasal breathing and allergy symptoms in patients not wanting to be on medicated nasal sprays for a long time.