The nasal valve is the narrowest part of the nasal airway located in the middle to lower portion of the nose. Its primary function is to limit airflow. A nasal valve collapse (NVC) refers to anything that causes the valve to weaken or shrink.
Since this part of the nose is so narrow already, any decrease in size can lead to airflow complications including congestion and difficulty breathing.
NVC is most commonly caused by surgery or trauma to the nose and surrounding areas.
- Rhinoplasty (cosmetic surgery of the nose)
- Deviated septum
- Facial injury
- Difficulty breathing
- Crusting around the nostrils
Diagnosing NVC is difficult since there are other conditions with similar symptoms. Medical history, such as a history of nasal surgery or recent trauma is crucial to gaining a diagnosis. Internal examination of the nose can also help to determine the cause of symptoms.