Nasal Valve Treatment

Nasal Valve Treatment San Diego, CA

When your nasal valves don't allow the free flow of air your body needs, your quality of life suffers.

Obstructed or collapsed nasal valves can lead to numerous health issues, such as chronic fatigue from poor sleep quality, snoring, an inability to focus and concentrate, and discomfort while exercising or even walking.  

Nasal problems are the principal reasons patients visit Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe, an industry-leading board-certified otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist).  

If you’re experiencing nasal obstruction, then reach out to Dr. Schalch Lepe at (858) 925-5800 or fill in his contact form to arrange your consultation in San Diego today. Silenso Clinic is located in Carmel Valley in North San Diego County and serves many communities throughout the greater San Diego area, including La Jolla, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar, Coronado, Eastlake, Chula Vista, Rancho Santa Fe, and more.  

What is a Nasal Valve?

A nasal valve is an airway controlled by muscles that open and close to let air in and out of the nose. Your nose has four nasal valves in total, an external and internal valve in each nostril. 

These valves are made of tissue that relaxes or tenses to open or close, depending on whether you breathe in or out.

Nose diagram showing the lateral nose wall, internal nose valve and external nasal valve

What Problems Might I have with my Nasal Valves?

The two most common issues with nasal valves are obstruction and collapse.

Nasal Valve Obstruction

Nasal valve obstruction occurs when there is a blockage of the airway. This can occur in one or both nostrils and most frequently arises in the internal nasal valves. 

Most nasal obstructions occur from acute illnesses, in which mucus can build up in the sinuses and nasal valves, blocking the flow of air. Ailments such as the common cold can cause this but are highly treatable with over-the-counter medication. 

However, nasal obstruction might be a sign of an underlying problem, possibly a deviated septum, sinusitis, or swollen inferior turbinates.  

Other reasons leading to problems with breathing through the nose might be total or partial nasal valve collapse. 

Nasal Valve Collapse

The tissue that forms the nasal valve becomes weakened or damaged. This makes it hard for the nasal valve to alternate between open and closed. As a result, the airways become narrowed, and breathing can become difficult.

In a total collapse, the valve shuts and cannot reopen, making it impossible for air to flow through the passage. Nasal valve collapse is a rare condition. Only about 7-10% of people with the condition will continue to have problems over many years. Most cases are treated in early childhood and not seen again.

What Causes Nasal Valve Collapse?

Nasal valve collapse occurs when the muscles and cartilage in the nose break down. Sometimes a child’s nose may change shape as they grow, leading to nasal valve collapse. The condition is rare in adults who have not had previous surgery on their nose or sinuses (the air spaces behind the nose).

In most adults, nasal valve collapse is accompanied by some other physical damage to the nose, such as a vehicle or sporting injury. 

How is Nasal Valve Collapse Diagnosed?

Diagnosing nasal valve issues is a crucial step in finding the appropriate treatment. Dr. Schalch Lepe will ask questions about your symptoms to determine what type of nasal valve collapse they have. 

A Cottle maneuver will be performed, to determine if stabilizing the nasal valve area improves the airflow through your nasal passages.

He may also order imaging studies on your ears, nose, and throat. A type of imaging study called computed tomography (CT) scan can rule out the presence of chronic sinus inflammation, as well as provide an overview of the nasal anatomy. 

Treatment depends on the cause of nasal valve collapse and severity.

Vivaer machine
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Watch: VivAer Overview Nasal Valve Collapse Treatment Options

Dr. Schalch Lepe offers a comprehensive list of nasal valve treatments, depending on the root cause of the condition:

VivAer is a device that helps to control breathing and gives relief from congestion. It is inserted into the nose and gently expands the nasal airways while opening the nasal passages by stabilizing the nasal valve area, to allow for easier breathing. It can be performed in conjunction with turbinate and nasal septal swell bodies reduction. This technique does not alter the appearance of the nose.

LATERA is a treatment that was developed to treat primary nasal valve collapse. It consists of reabsorbable sutures or implants that are used to strengthen the nasal valve area. These implants are gradually dissolved and replaced by your own body’s scar tissue, which provides more stability to the nasal valves and prevents collapse. This procedure does not alter the external appearance of the nose.

portrait photo of Dr. Schalch Lepe

Better Breathing Starts Today

Specializing in the treatment of a variety of conditions (deviated septum, nasal obstruction, snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, etc.),  Dr. Schalch Lepe is highly qualified and motivated to provide his patients with the best possible treatment results. Dr. Schalch Lepe takes an in-depth, personalized approach with each patient to ensure they receive the best possible treatment for their situation.

Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Dr. Schalch Lepe has the unique perspective of having trained in multiple countries. This experience has led him to be sought out by domestic and international patients, many of whom are Mexican ex-pats living throughout San Diego County and Southern California.

San Diego’s Best Nasal Valve Treatment Specialist

Sleep and breathing expert Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe specializes in various nasal valves treatments (deviated septumsinus pressure, nasal obstructionenlarged inferior turbinatesobstructive sleep apneasnoring) all meant to help his patients improve their quality of life by breathing better and sleeping easier. Dr. Schalch Lepe takes an in-depth, personalized approach with each patient to ensure they receive the best possible treatment for their situation. His goal is to use the most effective and minimally invasive solution with each case. 

Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Dr. Schalch Lepe has been fortunate to gain unique perspectives and experience from his international training. This experience has led him to be sought out by domestic and international patients, many of whom are Mexican ex-pats living throughout San Diego County and Southern California.

Arrange your consultation today by calling (858) 925-5800 or filling out his online form

San Diego Nasal Valve Collapse FAQs

Yes. In most severe nasal valve collapse cases, insurance will cover treatment as they are “necessary treatments.” The FDA approves RhinAer, Latera, and VivAer in particular for use in patients who have severe nasal valve collapse.

Yes. In most cases of nasal valve treatment, treatments are successful over the long term.