Not sure if you’re affected by Nasal Airway Obstruction? Try the simple Cottle Test to find out.

Simply pull your cheek sideways to hold your nostril open. Does your breathing improve? If yes, you may be a candidate for Latera® Implants. As an additional test, you may also use nasal strips to hold your nostril open and determine whether your nasal airflow improves.

It’s best not to leave any type of prolonged nasal congestion untreated as it can lead to other health problems and impair the normal function of your nose and respiratory system.

If you feel you might be suffering from Nasal Airway Obstruction, it’s important to speak with your doctor about treatment options to support your lateral nasal cartilage.

What is Nasal Airway Obstruction (NAO)?

A common condition that currently affects more than 20 million Americans, Nasal Airway Obstruction (NAO) occurs due to structural abnormalities inside the nose or because the nasal passages are swollen and inflamed. Blocked, or partially blocked passages prevent normal airflow through your nose and can lead to laboured or uncomfortable breathing. With 70% of airflow being delivered to the lungs via nasal breathing, even a small blockage can have consequences on your quality of life. Nasal Airway Obstructions are different than the nasal congestion you feel from allergies, or illnesses like cold and flu. These are structural blockages that generally will not go away with time and may require medical intervention.

Causes of Nasal Airway Obstruction

The narrowing of your nasal valve leads to the reduction in nasal airflow that you feel. This narrowing can be caused by structural blockages in 3 common areas:

Septum (Deviated Septum):

The cartilage found in the middle of your nose between the nostrils can bend or be misshapen causing a restriction of your nasal passage. A deviated septum can be apparent from birth or occur due to trauma to the nose.


Ridges of bone and tissue found inside your nose than can become swollen or enlarged and block natural airflow. Turbinates warm and moisturize the air you inhale through your nose. When these become inflamed, they swell and cause a restriction in your nasal airway.

Lateral Wall:

The lateral wall (side wall) of your nose contains upper and lower supporting cartilage. If this cartilage in your outer nasal wall is weakened or excessively flexible, it may cause your lateral wall to collapse inward when you inhale and obstruct natural airflow.

What Can I Do?

If breathing through your nose has become difficult, the first step is to take the Cottle Test, then use nasal strips during the day and to sleep at night. If you notice a nasal airflow improvement through these methods, you may be suffering from a Nasal Airway Obstruction.  It is important to speak with your physician or contact our Houston Sinus & Allergy office for further consultation.

You may also treat your symptoms with over-the-counter allergy medications such as Zyrtec, Allegra, Benadryl, Flonase, Nasocort, Claritin, Xyzal, Rhinocort, or a Netipot rinse, but remember, these medications only treat your symptoms and not the issue causing your discomfort.

What is a Latera® Implant?

One of the most successful treatment options for a nasal airway obstruction, is an absorbable Latera® implant used to help support the upper and lower cartilage of your nose.  By providing additional support to the lateral (side) wall of your nose, nasal airway obstruction may be reduced, helping you breathe freely and live more comfortably.

Latera® implants are made from a safe, latex-free absorbable material that is used extensively for medial applications worldwide. The implant acts to hold the lateral wall of your nose in its proper place for a period of time, and then is naturally absorbed by your body in a process similar to that of absorbable sutures.  Absorption occurs at approximately 18 months and is replaced with a collagen matrix. However, patients often report relief of their symptoms persists even at 24 months post treatment.

How does the procedure work?

The Latera® implant procedure at Houston Sinus & Allergy is simple. During an appointment at our office, an otolaryngologist (ENT) will place Latera® implants inside the nasal wall of your nose to help support nasal airways and keep them open. The procedure is virtually painless with almost no recovery time. Some patients report an initial awareness of the implant, and some mild bruising, irritation or inflammation near the implant after treatment. However, these symptoms generally subside quickly and without further complication. Most patients are very satisfied and experience a significant decrease of symptoms within 12 months of receiving the Latera® implant. Patients treated with Latera® implants do not need to worry about a change in their facial appearance either, as the implant supports the lateral cartilage with no permanent effects. The procedure and implant are also minimally invasive.

Are Latera® Implants effective?

Latera® Implants offer a simple and effective in-office treatment that provides long-lasting nasal wall stability to improve nose breathing without changing the cosmetic appearance of your nose. 56% of patients treated with Latera® implants report a significant improvement in their ability to breathe freely, and in their quality of life 6 months after treatment. Many patients also notice increased airflow right after treatment. Our patients are often surprised by how easy and quick the treatment is and how much it helps their daily lives.

Individual results may vary but patients can expect the following benefits and improvements:

  • Minimally invasive implants
  • Little or no recovery time
  • Added nasal airway support
  • Reduced nasal airway obstruction
  • No negative cosmetic changes
  • Easier breathing through the nose
  • Improved ability to exercise
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved quality of life

It is recommended to consult your physician about choosing Latera® implants.

Why should I choose Latera® implants from Houston Sinus & Allergy?

Our physicians know that breathing freely is a vital part of your health and quality of life. That’s why our office has been proudly serving Houstonians for over 20 years, helping our patients overcome the symptoms of Nasal Airway Obstruction and congestion. Our treatments have helped everyone, from athletes (GO ASTROS!) to senior citizens and we’ve even helped one or two marriages deal with the annoying issue of snoring!

We are experts when it comes to your nose and are pleased to offer the latest Latera® implant treatment right here in our office. Take advantage of our easy appointment schedules and avoid expensive hospital fees. We provide quick and easy, no-hassle relief from Nasal Airway Obstruction caused by a weak or collapsed lateral wall.

Closing Statement

Our Houston Sinus & Allergy Latera® Implant treatment delivers relief from the symptoms of Nasal Airway Obstruction. No more clogged nose, no more struggling for breath – just free breathing the way you were meant to. Our in-office Latera® Implant procedure is fast, easy and safe – treating your blocked nose at the source of the problem. If you’ve been suffering from Nasal Airway Obstruction, speak with your physician or call our office to find out how we can help.