What is Empty Nose Syndrome


Definition: Empty Nose Syndrome (ENS) is an iatrogenic condition of nasal dysfunction that is a complication of nasal surgery.

Symptoms: Common symptoms of empty nose syndrome are paradoxical nasal congestion, lack of airflow sensation, dryness, crusting, feeling of suffication, etc. Patients also often experience cognitive difficulties including inability to concentrate, fatigue, irritability, anxiety, and depression

Cause: In patents with ENS, the physiology of the nose has been damaged and is no longer able to function normally. This can include structural damage to the nasal cavity and sinuses as well as functional damage to nasal mucosa and nerves. ENS is poorly understood. This is primarily because the physiology of the nose is currently not well understood. Few objective tests are used/exist to test normal nasal function. Its likely that ENS isn't a single entity but an umbrella term for various types of damage resulting from nasal surgery.

Treatment: Current treatments include implants to improve structure deficits and regernative medicine techniques to improve musical function. Currently there is no cure for ENS.

History: Empty nose syndrome was originally named in 1994 by Dr. Eugene Kern at the Mayo Clinic. It got this name because it was first observed in patients noses with ENS looked 'empty' having had their terminates greatly reduced or removed completely. More recently it has become clear that patients without empty looking noses can also have ENS thus making the naming unfortunate. A better name might have been Iatrogenic Nasal Dysfunction (IND).

Other terms for ENS are: