Explore this issue:February 2014
The nasal valve region, bordered by the septum, inferior turbinate, and nasal sidewall, is the most resistive flow-limiting segment of the nasal cavity. As air enters this constricted segment, acceleration of airflow occurs. This results in a drop in intraluminal pressure by the Bernoulli principle. The pressure drop can lead to collapse of the segment of the airway during inspiration, dependent on the rigidity of the structures. The septum and turbinate are typically rigid structures, whereas the nasal sidewall is less rigid and therefore may determine the nasal valve rigidity. Very minor changes to the structures in the nasal valve region can have significant impact on nasal airflow. However, it can be difficult to determine which of the three structures of the nasal valve area is most responsible for nasal airway obstruction in any given patient.