What is
Nasal Airway Obstruction?

Nasal breathing delivers approximately 70% of airflow to the lungs1. More than 20 million Americans2 are estimated to suffer from nasal airway obstruction (NAO), which limits airflow through the nose with significant quality of life consequences.3

Symptoms10 may include:

  • Difficulty breathing at rest and/or while exercising
  • Trouble sleeping


What Causes It?

What Causes
Nasal Airway Obstruction?

Even slight narrowing of the nasal valve can lead to significant reduction in airflow4,5,6. Structural blockages in three areas are common:

  • Septum: The cartilage wall between the nostrils can bend and block the nasal passage.
  • Turbinates: Ridges of bone and tissue inside the nose can limit airflow when enlarged.
  • Lateral (side) wall: Weak or excessively flexible upper/lower cartilage in the outer nasal wall may cause it to collapse inward when a person inhales.

Lateral wall collapse may equal or even exceed septal deviation as the prime cause of nasal airway obstruction.7,8

Is Lateral Wall Collapse Contributing to my NAO?

Is lateral wall collapse contributing to my
Nasal Airway Obstruction?

A clinician may use a number of approaches to determine whether the lateral wall is contributing to a patient’s Nasal Airway Obstruction. Examples include:

  • A simple breathing test called the Cottle Maneuver (see image)
  • Use of nasal strips during normal activity and sleep

If a patient’s symptoms improve from either of the above, he/she may benefit from support for the lateral nasal wall. The LATERA implant is indicated for supporting upper and lower lateral cartilage.


Does your breathing improve when you pull on your cheek to hold your nostril to the side? If yes, talk to your doctor about options to support your lateral cartilage, which may include nasal strips, splints, dilators, grafts and the LATERA implant.