Nasal Valve Collapse

Understanding Nasal Valve Collapse: Root Causes, Consequences, and Treatments

iStock 1152474606 Thousands of people from Los Angeles, Southern California, and Central California have received treatment from Del Rey MD for sinus problems and nasal blockage. Many of our patients suffer from nasal valve collapse, which frequently results in substantial respiratory problems and a lower quality of life. The various varieties of nasal valve collapse will be covered in this blog, along with how it affects nasal breathing and some typical strategies for treating it.

Nasal Valve Collapse: What Is It?

The nasal valve, a small portion of cartilage and soft tissue inside the nasal cavity is essential for regulating airflow through the nasal passages. Nasal valve collapse is the term used to describe a nasal valve narrowing that results in a partial or whole obstruction of the airway. This can make breathing through the nose very difficult and may create other health problems including sleep apnea or persistent sinusitis.

Nasal Valve Collapse: Dynamic vs. Static

Nasal valve collapse mostly comes in two flavors: dynamic and static.

1 Dynamic Nasal Valve Collapse: This happens when the nasal valve can’t keep its ideal shape when breathing in. Inhaling air causes negative pressure, which draws the weak valve inward and limits airflow. This type of collapse is frequently linked to congenital defects, recent surgery, or trauma.

2 Static Nasal Valve Collapse: In this condition, the nasal valve remains narrow or blocked whether the person is breathing in or out. Scarring from prior surgeries or injuries, aging, or structural anomalies are the usual causes of this type.

Nasal Breathing Consequences of Nasal Valve Collapse

Nasal valve collapse may have a substantial impact on a person’s capacity for nasal breathing. Nasal congestion, breathing problems while exercising, snoring, and repeated nose infections are typical symptoms. Chronic mouth breathing brought on by the illness can also result in dry mouth, foul breath, and dental issues.

Nasal valve collapse interventions

Nasal valve collapse can be treated with a variety of methods, from minimally invasive techniques to more involved surgeries.

1 Vivaer: Vivaer is a minimally invasive in-office technique that strengthens and reshapes the nasal valve using radiofrequency energy. No incisions are necessary for the procedure, and there is normally little recovery time. This intervention is often good for static collapse.

2 Latera Implants: Latera implants are absorbable nasal implants that are inserted behind the lateral nasal cartilage to reinforce and strengthen it. The implants, which strengthen support for the nasal valve and enhance airflow, are implanted through a tiny incision within the nostril. This intervention is often good for dynamic collapse.

3 Rhinoplasty: Often referred to as a “nose job,” rhinoplasty is a surgical technique that can treat nasal valve collapse on both a cosmetic and functional level. To enhance the nasal valve’s structure and functionality, the nasal cartilage and bone are reshaped during surgery. This is a good intervention that can address all narrowing if done right. 

4 Turbinate Reduction: In this technique, the turbinates, which are nasal cavity structures that assist in humidifying and filtering the air we breathe, are shrunk. Nasal blockage and nasal valve collapse may be made worse by enlarged turbinates. Several methods, including radiofrequency ablation, coblation, or surgical excision, can be used to reduce the size.

5 Septoplasty: A deviated septum, the bone and cartilage wall that divides the two nostrils, can be fixed surgically by this treatment. Nasal obstruction and symptoms of nasal valve collapse may be exacerbated by a deviated septum. The septum can be straightened to enhance airflow and frequently resolve breathing issues. The nasal valve area is made up of the septum, turbinate, and lateral cartilage. So often addressing the septum and turbinate can be a sufficient intervention. 

Myths and Misconceptions About Nasal Valve Collapse

Surgery Is the Only Treatment Option

There are non-surgical ways to treat nasal valve collapse. You may use breathing strips on the outside of your nose to open your nostrils. Or you could wear dilators inside your nose to achieve the same results. Both options work well while you sleep.

Nasal Valve Collapse Will Resolve Itself

No, although some patients can experience mild symptoms, a nasal valve collapse will not heal by itself. In fact, some nasal valve collapse conditions may worsen with time. Because the structures that support your nasal passage may be significantly weakened, they may require surgical intervention.

You Will Need Multiple Surgeries

In most cases, patients do not need to have multiple surgeries for a nasal valve collapse. However, since every case and patient’s needs are different, the specialists at Del Rey MD will discuss the risks, the benefits, and the possible need for additional procedures during your consultation.

How to Prepare for Your Visit

Prior to your consultation, it is important to make a list of questions and concerns you may have. Some questions you may want to include are:

  • How successful is my specific surgery in most cases?
  • Are there any risks to be aware of?
  • How long will I need to rest and recover?

You should also prepare as much information as possible to help your doctor make an informed decision:

  • Were you doing something when you first noticed breathing issues?
  • Have you had any other respiratory problems, like nasal polyps or allergies?
  • Is it worse at night, during the day, or the same all the time?

Who Is a Good Candidate?

Your provider will decide whether you’re a good treatment candidate based on your situation. People who have thin or weakened cartilage in their nasal passages are often the best candidates. For instance, you may prefer a minimally invasive procedure if you’re dealing with other health issues. If your breathing impediment is serious, extensive surgery might be the best option.

Benefits and Risks of Intervention

The major benefit of intervening is improving your breathing. This often translates to better sleep quality, helping you feel more rested during the day. If your collapse was related to an injury, fixing the structural issue could also help with other symptoms.

There are risks to any surgical procedure, including bleeding, swelling, irritation, infection, and pain. These problems aren’t as much of an issue with nonsurgical intervention or minimally invasive procedures.


Nasal collapse treatment prices depend on the type of treatment you’re receiving. Nonsurgical options, like nose strips or dilators, may seem cheaper in the short term, but their costs can add up over time. Because these solutions don’t get to the root of the problem, they might not be worth what you save.

Receiving a comprehensive diagnosis of your nasal valve collapse can make it easier to plan for and lower the costs. The more you know and the earlier you seek help, the greater your odds can be of choosing a cost-effective solution.

Recovery and Outlook

Since there are various treatments, recovery time often varies between patients. Talk to your doctor to determine how long you’ll need to wait before resuming regular activities. It’s also important to note that the outlooks for different surgeries vary.

In most cases, your caregiver will pick whichever option has the highest chances of succeeding for you specifically. Following their post-care and pre-op instructions will reduce the time you spend recovering and raise your chances of a favorable outcome.


There is a chance that you have nasal valve collapse if you’re having trouble breathing through your nose. You can decide whether to seek treatment for this condition from your doctor by understanding what causes it, such as trauma, allergies, aging, and structural issues with the nose, as well as its symptoms, such as congestion or tightness in one or both nostrils as well as whistling sounds when exhaling. Don’t wait to seek medical attention if necessary; effective treatment depends on an early diagnosis. To get a complete ear, nose, and throat evaluation and start breathing easier tomorrow, call us today!

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