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The Nasal Bone Spur: Causes, Signs, Symptoms and Treatment Options

written by: AlyssaAst • edited by: dianahardin • updated: 5/29/2011

Nasal bone spurs develop within the nose and commonly cause headaches and migraines to occur. The pain may be triggered by environmental, health or hormonal changes. Bone spurs can be treated with surgery or non-surgical procedures.

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    Nasal bone spurs are a common cause of migraines and headaches. A nasal spur often develops as a result of trauma to the nose, such as receiving a blow to the nasal area. These bony growths protrude into the lateral nasal wall, irritating the nerves and sending pain signals to the head. The area often becomes irritated by the spurs when the nose responds to allergies, sinus conditions and colds. Treatment for nasal spurs is possible, to relieve the symptoms caused by the growths.

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    Bone Spur Development

    Nasal bone spurs typically develop as a result of stress injuries that occur throughout life. Whenever the nose is hit or bumped, it causes stress to the area. Over time, the areas of stress can become weakened. Small nasal fractures may form, and bone spurs may begin to develop.Bone spurs are especially common in people who have low calcium levels, because the liklihood of fracture increases.

    As these spurs develop, they begin irritating areas of the nose, causing pain. The symptoms of nasal spurs may occur only at certain times, such as during sinus episodes or illness, when the nasal cavities have a tendency to become inflamed.

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    Bone Spur Symptoms

    The headache and pain associated with nasal bone spurs may be triggered by external factors, such as hormonal, environmental and health changes. Allergies are a common trigger for nasal spurs. Women who suffer from nasal spurs often have heightened pain and headaches during menstruation or pregnancy, due to changes in hormone levels.

    The headaches or migraines caused by nasal bone spurs are often felt around the forehead, temple and the top of the head. Other areas commonly affected include the cheek, nose and eyes.

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    Diagnosing Bone Spurs

    In order to properly diagnose nasal bone spurs, an ear, nose and throat physician is most often consulted. During the evaluation, decongestant spray will be used to give the physician a clearer view of the nasal passageways. In some cases, a CAT scan will be performed to rule out other possible underlying conditions, such as tumors. A CAT scan can determine the exactly location of the spurs, if they are not visible with a routine examination.

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    Treatment Options

    In many cases of nasal bone spurs, a surgery known as septoplasty is performed. This procedure removes the bone spurs and corrects any other complications that may be present, such as a deviated septum. The goal of the surgery is to eliminate any pressure spots that may cause irritation or pain. In most cases, the surgery is successful in relieving the headaches and migraines the bone spurs cause.

    As always, a physician should be consulted to determine exactly what is causing nasal pain, migraines or headaches.

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    References

    "Headaches," http://www.smithctr.com/headache_articles.html

    "Sinus Headaches," http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/sinus-headache-000073.htm