Australia's 'No 1' Directory, dedicated to Cosmetic, Health & Wellbeing



10 Facts on Empty Nose Syndrome

Date: Monday 24th April 2017


When it comes to procedures that are used to tweak the nose, empty nose syndrome or ENS can be a problem encountered. It can be a very uncomfortable problem which leaves many to struggle after what is supposedly a procedure to improve things. If you are not well aware of what this condition is, here are ten facts to help you get a better understanding about it.


  • ENS is an iatrogenic condition concerning the nasal cavity. By iatrogenic it means that it is a result of diagnosis or treatment, and the problem created can either be physical, mental or emotional in nature. ENS can be avoided completely, except for rare cases where cancerous lesions form in the nasal cavity.

  • ENS was a term coined by Dr. Eugene Kern of the Mayo Clinic. It is also referred to as a wide nasal cavity syndrome which results in the reduction or over resection of the inferior or middle turbinates in nose surgery. This now results to the nose becoming chronically dry due to the lack of moisture produced or the lack of mucus. It also makes the nose incapable of sensing or streamlining the hair inhaled.

  • The people who suffer from ENS will feel as if their nose are constantly congested. It may also be hard for them to inhale through their nose as if they are being suffocated. What most sufferers find strange is that they feel that they breathe better when their nose is actually congested or when they have a cold. ENS creates a rather confusing sensation for the patient because in one instance they will feel as if there is too much air entering the nose, while at the same time they may also feel it to be stuffy.

  • The main symptoms of ENS include, shortness of breath, chronic nasal dryness, dry pharynx, difficulty sleeping, difficulty in concentrating, irritable mood, and depression.

  • It is actually rare for nasal surgery patients to develop ENS after the procedure. But for the unlucky few who does, they won't feel any symptoms immediately after the procedure, but will only experience it years later. Pain can also be an issue with this condition, but this issue is best treated by a specialist.

  • Individuals who live in moist conditions are known to do better with ENS. In fact moisturizing is the key element in treating the problem. Nasal irrigations using saline, Ringer's Lactate or nasal mist sprays administered daily are among the most common solutions. A cool mist humidifier can also help moisten the nasal cavity while asleep.

  • Another method of treating ENS is through implants. This is used to thicken the submucosa and also to create a turbinate-like structure. There are three implant materials used for this treatment, and these are autografts, allografts, and foreign materials. Autografts are derived of bone, fat, and cartilage from the same person who needs the graft. Allografts is made out of human tissues, like a skin dermis. Foreign materials on the other hand is comprised of gortex, Teflon, plastipore, hydroxyapatite, and fibrin glue.

  • When it comes to the grafts, the natural ones are considered to be much safer since they do not pose any risk of allergic reactions or rejections. They are much easier to shape. However, these materials do tend to get absorbed. Foreign materials on the other hand answers this problem, and it also provides adequate number of materials. But the problem here is that it also has a high extrusion rate making the result look less natural.

  • There are literatures which say that there can be a hundred percent cure for ENS. And it will only happen if the situation is reversed. This means that the tissues of the resected turbinates are regenerated. This will only be possible through regenerative medicine or tissue engineering. This may sound too advanced, but the technology to make this possible already exists.

  • If you are wondering whether ENS can be prevented, yes it can. Even though it is medically necessary to resect the turbinates, there are certain measures that can be done to preserve the function. This is where expertise comes in because the result will be reliant on the removal process of the turbinates. With proper and very precise techniques, the danger of excessive reduction can be eliminated.


About the Author: 

Sandy Moore is a writer living in Brisbane, Australia. Sandy has had over 10 years of experience in all areas cosmetic surgery including extensive work exposure throughout Australia and abroad.

Over all Result: Star Off (2)


Star Off
Empty nose syndrome

Alberto Guzman from United States - 11/03/2018 - 06:50 AM

Dear Sandy Moore, Thank you for the article about Empty Nose Syndrome. I wonder if you know the technology that can cure ENS and how ENS patients can access to that technology. We all want to be cured. Kind regards, Alberto Guzman

Star Off

Peter Mullins from Australia - 05/04/2019 - 12:08 AM

Thank you Sandy. what is the best procedure for turbinates that avoids ENS? I might be needing such a procedure for my nose, regards Pete Mullins