Topical nasal sprays are commonly used in routine otolaryngology practice to reduce NAO symptoms through vasoconstriction, reducing the bulk of vaso erectile tissue, and increasing nasal airflow. Such tissue is found predominantly on the lateral wall of the nose within the ITs. Recent studies found evidence that suggests its presence medially within the nasal SSB.

Researchers did this study to determine whether isolated topical decongestion of the medial nasal wall, targeting the SSB, is as effective as isolated decongestion of the lateral nasal wall, targeting the IT, in maximizing nasal patency.

A double-blinded, randomized controlled, crossover study was performed investigating the effect of decongestion of the lateral nasal wall or septum in isolation on nasal airflow.

Researchers recruited a total of 20 healthy volunteers. Improvements in nasal obstruction and SNOT-22 scores were found following decongestion of the septum compared with baseline. Improvements in mean inspiratory flow, minimal cross-sectional area, volume, and PNIF were also demonstrated.

This study suggests that the SSB contains erectile tissue similar to topical decongestant therapy to IT tissue. The SSB may represent a novel target in surgery for NAO.