Posted by: Anonymous | 2011/05/17

Empty Nose Syndrome or Nasal Cripple


How do you normally know if you have ENS.
What are the symptoms?

Are there ENT''s in South Africa that deal with this?

Thanks in advance.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Anonymous

A patient suffering from ENS must have a history of extensive sino-nasal surgery. The condition arises if some of the structures important to normal nasal flow are removed. The patient complains of a blocked nose, although the nose is far more open than a normal nasal passage. This condition can arise after endoscopic sinus surgery for sinus problems, or in cases where there is no choice, such as surgery for nasal tumours/cancers.
The structures that are missing, often include the middle turbinate, and often large portions of the inferior and/or superior turbinates. When the patient breaths through the nasal passage, no structures are left to create the sensation of normal nasal airflow, and as the brain does not register the nasal flow, the patient has the experience of a blocked nose. These patients may be referred to as nasal cripples, or sinus cripples, as the sino-nasal passage does not function normally any more. One could also be prone to recurrent sinus infections, and the sense of smell may become affected.
The sad fact is that very little can be done if structures have been removed (they can not be replaced), and any further surgery generally make things worse.
If you need an opinion go to the ENT website at and look for a doctor with a special interest in sino-nasal work. You can ask your GP as well.


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