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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Best way to reduce swollen turbinates

    I can't breathe through my nose due to a lot of swelling in my sinuses/nose (I've had allergic rhinitis my whole life). There's no build up of fluids. Just a lot of swelling, so I can't breathe at all through my nose most of the time. I've tried every nose spray known to man (prescription steroids etc). About 15 years ago they cauterised my sinuses and it was amazing! I was able to breathe freely. However, over time it's become just as bad. I've been back to the ENT who doesn't want to cauterise again and who said there was a slight deviation which he could operate on but could not guarantee it would improve my breathing in any way. What other options are there for me. Laser? I need a specialist who is willing to explore the options with me instead of brushing aside my condition as being one that 'nothing can be done' about. I live between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Any advice would be gratefully received.
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    Dr Alberto Pinzon Charry

    Paediatric Allergist and Immunologist

    Dr Alberto Pinzon Charry specialises in the treatment and management of diseases in infants, children and adolescents that result from abnormalities of the immune system. … View Profile

    The symptoms you describe as well as your clinical progress including gradual recurrence after nasal (turbinate) cautery suggest that you are  affected by allergic rhinitis (AR, commonly known as hay fever).  

    Because AR is caused by the nose and/or eyes coming into contact with environmental allergens, symptoms (in your case  obstructive symptoms like blocked nose, stuffiness and snoring) will likely recur each time you are re-exposed. 

    There are many treatments available including antihistamines, intranasal corticosteroid sprays, decongestant sprays and tablets as well as allergen immunotherapy if required.

    I would recommend you visit a specialist allergist ( has a list of accredited allergists in australia) identify the specific allergens that affect you, minimise your exposure to those and optimise the use of intranasal medications (also control your asthma better if you have any)

    Remember that intranasal steroids need to be used regularly and with careful attention to the way in which they are used. If your symptoms persist and continue affecting your quality of life, allergen immunotherapy would be the way forward.  Further surgery is unlikely to be beneficial as symptoms will recur. 

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