Background: Patients suffering from nasal obstruction due to external nasal valve dysfunction may benefit from either corrective surgery or a conservative approach with a nasal dilator. At present, devices for widening the external nasal valve region can be applied externally or endonasally. It remains unknown to what extent the en dona sal dilator Airmax® objectively improves the nasal flow and can be offered as an alternative for surgery.
Methodology: Thirty patients suffering from nasal obstruction due to external nasal valve problems were proposed to use the nasal dilator for 4 weeks as an alternative for corrective surgery. The improvement of nasal flow by the dilator was evaluated by measuring the peak nasal inspiratory flow (PNIF). Then, patients were asked for their willingness to continue to use the nasal dilator or to undergo nasal valve surgery.
Results: The endonasal dilator improved the mean PNIF from baseline values with a mean increase of 176.1 o/o. After a 4 week trial period, 19 of 30 patients expressed the intention to continue the use of the nasal dilator. Inappropriate size, local irritation and/or aesthetic nasal complaints were mentioned by the other patients as reasons for discontinuation of using the nasal dilator.
Conclusion: The endonasal dilator Airmax® represents a powerful device to improve nasal breathing in the target patients and therefore represents a good alternative for corrective surgery.