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Rhinology is the medical specialization devoted to the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the nose and sinuses. Conditions and symptoms include:

  •  Obstruction of nasal breathing leading to increased breathing through the mouth
  • Snoring may be aggravated by a blocked nose
  • Nasal secretions into the throat, often associated a cough or dry throat, less often with asthma
  • Reduced sense of smell and/or an inability to correctly recognize food or drink 
  • Pain


An individualized examination can reveal whether the problem is due, to a curved septum, for example, a mucous membrane allergy, nasal polyps, or a tumor. 

Various techniques and procedures are available that allow for a careful diagnosis. They include endoscopy, testing of function and olfactory sensitivity, as well as CAT scans or MRI imaging of the sinuses.

Conservative treatments
Many conditions respond well to medication. In the case of allergies affecting the mucous membranes, immunotherapy specific to the allergen may provide relief. The aim, of course, is to improve life quality over the longer term.

For some conditions, surgery, usually combined with a medication regime, can help. The procedures are usually carried out through the nose.

Frequently, the cartilage and bone lying between the nostrils is not straight or even.  This can result in difficulty breathing through the nose, hence increased breathing through the mouth.  Yet that in turn dries out the mucous membrane in the throat, leading to a greater need to cough or clear the throat, resulting in more hoarseness in the voice.

An irregular growth of the nasal septum is often the reason, though accidents can also lead to curvature. When the curvature is severe, medications will frequently not have sufficient effect. In such a case, significant improvement can be achieved through surgery (called septoplasty).

The procedure is usually carried out under general anesthesia, and may last from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the particular situation. Access is through the nostrils, with the nasal septum straightened using special instruments. The procedure usually calls for a hospital stay of 3 to 4 days. We will be happy to inform you of the possible risks involved.

As curvature of the nasal septum is regarded as a medical condition and/or because it may have come about due to an accident, as a rule the costs will be covered by the Swiss health insurance scheme or by accident insurance coverage.

Chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane in the paranasal sinuses occurs fairly often.  One form it takes leads to strong swelling, known as polyps. They can block nasal breathing and may reduce the sense of smell.  It also leads to increased mucus secretion in the throat. The other form leads to frequent acute inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which can be painful. Due to mucous secretions, it can lead to coughing and hoarseness.

It remains unclear, even today, what causes chronic paranasal sinus inflammations. One can nevertheless address the symptoms through medication. Unfortunately, in many cases this is not enough and surgery is necessary (technically called ethmoidectomy).

During the operation, the paranasal sinuses are opened and gently widened using special instruments. This is to allow dammed-up secretions to drain out, allowing the mucosal inflammation to heal better. The procedure is usually carried out under general anesthetic; how long surgery takes depends on the severity of the inflammation. The procedure usually entails a hospital stay of 3 to 5 days. We will be happy to inform you of the possible risks involved. 

As chronic sinus inflammation is a medical condition, as a rule Swiss health insurance funds  will cover the costs.

Rhinomanometry, the process of examining impaired breathing, measures airflow and the difference in air pressure between the interior of the nose and the outer air (this, technically, is called respiratory resistance).

The sense of smell
Disruption to the sense of smell occurs relatively frequently. It can be caused by a flu infection, a coronavirus, a chronic inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes, or even an accident such as a skull fracture. An accurate diagnosis is the prerequisite for suggesting treatment options

We use the scientifically validated “Smell Diskettes© Olfaction Test”, a diagnostic tool developed by our rhinology working group. The test is quick and easy to carry out, and it employs attractive olfactory substances. With its help, we can quickly determine whether the sense of smell has been disturbed.


Should the “Smell Diskettes© Olfaction Test” provide confirmation, further clarification is necessary. In a second step, we measure the extent of the problem be determining the olfactory threshold (using n-butanol, we employ a special test procedure for this).

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