The turbinates are three fleshy shelves on the side of the inside of the nose that serve to warm, moisturize, and filter inhaled air before it enters the lungs. If the turbinates become too enlarged from repeated infections, allergies, or other irritants, they can cause nasal blockage. This problem is called turbinate hypertrophy (enlarged turbinates).
If you have turbinate hypertrophy, you may be initially placed on a nasal steroid and have your allergies managed to reduce their size medically. If your turbinates persistently cause nasal obstruction, you may be a candidate for reducing the size of the turbinates surgically called partial turbinate reduction.