Towards Understanding Empty Nose Syndrome using Computational Fluid Dynamics
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
Empty nose syndrome (ENS) presents with sensations of nasal obstruction despite sufficiently patent nasal airways and little is known about its cause. The present work begins with a critical evaluation of the literature. From this we hypothesize that the sensation felt in ENS is likely a distinct sensation caused by abnormal airflow.
High resolution computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation, including heat and water transport, of one normal and two ENS nasal cavities before and after corrective surgery were performed. The results are presented with reference to patient symptoms as recorded by the SNOT22 and ENS6Q standard questionnaires. The results supported previous findings of a deficit in inferior wall shear stress in ENS nasal cavities.
It was hypothesised that the state of the nasal mucus layer could provide a universal explanation for the majority of ENS symptoms. More realistic boundary conditions for CFD need to be explored so that this hypothesis can be tested. Constant temperature, variable temperature, and a novel drying model boundary treatments for heat and water transport were compared in Poiseuille flow. It was found that the constant temperature condition produced significantly different results from the other conditions. Also the introduction of a drying model may have implications for the location of maximum heat flux in the nasal geometry