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How Could Routine Nasal Surgery Increase Risk for Anxiety and Suicide?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • People with empty nose syndrome (ENS) feel like they’re suffocating and unable to breathe properly
  • ENS is becoming an increasingly recognized complication of sinus surgery, one that may occur in up to 20 percent of cases following a procedure known as turbinate resection
  • Turbinates are involved in a number of processes that regulate your breathing, and removing or reducing them may sever important nerves that communicate with your brain
  • ENS is a debilitating condition that often makes daily living difficult and carries with it significant psychological symptoms including anxiety, depression and suicide

Imagine feeling like you're suffocating every minute of the day. No matter how big a breath you take, you still feel like you can't get enough air. This is the reality for people suffering from empty nose syndrome (ENS), a complication of nose or sinus surgery.

Despite the condition being a horrifying reality for an untold number of people, it remains controversial, with some otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat physicians) brushing it off as purely psychological.

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