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About Empty Nose Syndrome (ENS)

Empty nose syndrome (ENS) is a rare medical condition that affects the nose and nasal passages.

It occurs when the turbinates, small bony structures in the nose that help to moisturize and filter the air we breathe, are removed or significantly reduced in size.

This can happen as a result of certain nasal surgeries, such as turbinectomy or septoplasty. The removal of the turbinates can result in a feeling of “emptiness” or a sense of a wide-open nasal cavity, which can lead to symptoms such as dryness, congestion, difficulty breathing, and a decreased ability to smell. Some people with ENS also experience a range of other symptoms, including fatigue, headaches, and anxiety.


Empty Nose Syndrome (ENS) symptoms can cause a range of symptoms, which can vary from person to person. Some of the most common symptoms of ENS include:

  • Nasal dryness and irritation: Many people with ENS describe a sensation of dryness and irritation in the nasal passages, which can make it difficult to breathe comfortably.
  • Difficulty breathing: ENS can cause a feeling of congestion or obstruction in the nasal passages, making it difficult to breathe through the nose.
  • Decreased sense of smell: ENS can affect the olfactory nerves, which can lead to a decreased sense of smell or even complete loss of smell
  • Fatigue: Some people with ENS experience fatigue or tiredness, which may be related to the difficulty breathing and disrupted sleep patterns
  • Anxiety or depression: Living with ENS can be challenging, and some people may experience anxiety, depression, or other emotional symptoms as a result

It’s important to note that not everyone with ENS will experience all of these symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can also vary from person to person.


Empty Nose Syndrome (ENS) is a rare and often underdiagnosed condition that affects the nasal passages. It occurs primarily after a surgical procedure called turbinate reduction or turbinectomy, which aims to improve airflow by reducing the size of the nasal turbinates. Turbinates are structures in the nose that help to warm, humidify, and filter the air we breathe. While the exact cause of ENS is not fully understood, several factors are thought to contribute to its development:

  • Over-aggressive turbinate reduction: Removing too much turbinate tissue can lead to ENS. This disrupts the balance of the nasal environment, causing symptoms like dryness, crusting, and a sense of nasal obstruction.
  • Altered nasal airflow: After turbinate reduction, the altered nasal airflow pattern can cause turbulent airflow, leading to the feeling of nasal obstruction and difficulty breathing, even though the nasal passages may be physically open.
  • Loss of nasal function: The reduced turbinate tissue can result in a diminished ability to warm, humidify, and filter the air we breathe, leading to the various symptoms of ENS.
  • Nerve damage: Surgical intervention can inadvertently damage nerves responsible for sensation in the nasal passages, contributing to the development of ENS symptoms.
  • Psychological factors: Some researchers believe that psychological factors such as anxiety, depression, or heightened sensitivity to physical sensations may play a role in the development or exacerbation of ENS symptoms.


Empty Nose Syndrome (ENS) can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life due to the chronic and often debilitating symptoms it causes. Some of the consequences and side effects of ENS include:

  • Nasal dryness: The loss of normal turbinate function can lead to persistent nasal dryness, making the nasal passages more prone to irritation, inflammation, and infection.
  • Crusting and bleeding: The chronic dryness and irritation can result in the formation of crusts and nasal sores, which may cause frequent bleeding.
  • Breathing difficulties: Despite having an open nasal passage, individuals with ENS may experience a paradoxical sensation of nasal obstruction or difficulty breathing due to altered airflow patterns.
  • Decreased sense of smell: The changes in the nasal environment and airflow can lead to a diminished sense of smell, known as hyposmia or anosmia.
  • Sleep disturbances: Breathing difficulties, discomfort, and dryness associated with ENS can disrupt sleep, leading to insomnia or other sleep disorders.
  • Fatigue: The combination of sleep disturbances, breathing difficulties, and constant discomfort can contribute to chronic fatigue and a reduced ability to function in daily life.
  • Anxiety and depression: The chronic nature of ENS symptoms and the impact on daily life can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and frustration, further affecting an individual’s overall well-being.
  • Social and professional consequences: The physical and emotional challenges associated with ENS can lead to difficulties in social interactions and professional performance, potentially resulting in isolation and reduced work productivity.
  • Multiple treatments:Individuals with ENS may undergo various treatments, including medications, saline rinses, and in some cases, additional surgical procedures, which can have their own side effects and risks

Treatments for ENS

Currently, treatment for ENS typically involves symptom management, such as the use of nasal sprays, humidifiers, and saline nasal irrigations. In some cases, surgical reconstruction of the nasal tissues may be necessary. In some cases, surgical reconstruction of the turbinates or nasal tissues may be necessary. However, the success of these treatments can vary, and some people with ENS may continue to experience symptoms despite treatment.


Some of traditional treatments that may help alleviate the symptoms of ENS include:

  1. Nasal saline irrigations to rinse the nasal passages and help reduce dryness and congestion.
  2. Nasal sprays and ointments to help moisturize and lubricate the nasal passages and reduce dryness and congestion.
  3. Humidifiers can help to increase the moisture content in the air and reduce dryness and irritation.
  4. Surgical reconstruction
  5. Psychological support to help cope with the condition.


There is currently evidence to suggest that stem cell therapy can effectively treat empty nose syndrome (ENS). Stem cells have the ability to differentiate into many different cell types, and this property makes them potentially useful in tissue repair and regeneration. When used for reconstructive purposes, stem cells can help to replace damaged or diseased tissue, promote healing, and stimulate the growth of new tissue.

Some specific properties of stem cells that make them useful for reconstructive purposes include

  1. Self-renewal: Stem cells are capable of dividing and producing more stem cells, allowing for the potential to generate large quantities of cells for use in tissue repair.
  2. Differentiation: Stem cells can differentiate into many different types of cells, such as muscle cells, nerve cells, and bone cells. This property allows them to be used for a wide range of tissue repair applications.
  3. Secretion of growth factors: Stem cells can secrete growth factors and other signaling molecules that can promote tissue regeneration and healing.

All these properties make stem cells a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of Empty Nose Syndrome (ENS).

Bioscience offers a range of treatments for various medical conditions, including Empty Nose Syndrome (ENS). Our approach to treating ENS involves the use of autologous tissue engineering, which involves using the patient’s own cells to regenerate the damaged tissues in the nasal passages.

Our treatment involves harvesting stem cells from the patient’s fat, processing and growing these cells in a laboratory, and then reintroducing the cells into the patient’s nasal passages to regenerate the damaged tissues. The goal of the treatment is to restore the normal function and structure of the nasal passages, which can alleviate the symptoms of ENS.

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