Why Is It Hard to Breathe Through My Nose?
February 2, 2022
Reviewed by Michael Kaplan, MD
If you’re finding it hard to breathe through your nose, it could be the result of anything from a stuffy nose or sinus infection to nasal obstructions such as a deviated septum. That said, knowing what’s causing your blocked nose is the first critical step in determining how to treat this uncomfortable symptom. For some, it may be as simple as supporting your body while it fights off a cold. For others, there may be a more serious condition behind it that requires medication or surgery.
In this article, the specialists from Kaplan Sinus Relief are here to walk you through some common causes of a blocked nose and offer solutions to help you improve it.
If you are experiencing trouble breathing along with symptoms including shortness of breath, lightheadedness, or it interferes with normal daily functioning — seek emergency assistance immediately.
4 Reasons It May Be Hard to Breathe Through Your Nose
1. Nasal valve collapse
The nasal valve is already the narrowest part of your nose, so when it collapses, it can leave you feeling like something is blocking your air flow when you try to take a breath. Nasal valve collapse can be caused by weakness or injury to the nose but may also be a result of scar tissue from a previous nose surgery.
Before determining a course of action to treat nasal valve collapse, you and your doctor will need to figure out what caused your nasal valve to collapse in the first place. From there, viable treatment options may include surgery or LATERA implants.
2. Deviated septum
Your nasal septum is the thin wall separating each of your nostrils. When your septum is deviated, it bends more towards one side than the other and can block the flow of air when you breathe. Deviated septums can be a result of trauma to the nose or may just be something you’re born with and are typically treated with septoplasty surgery.
Does a deviated septum cause sleep apnea? A deviated septum doesn’t directly cause sleep apnea, but it can make it harder to breathe through your nose at night and can affect your overall health. If a deviated septum is the cause behind your difficulty breathing, it’s important to have it looked at to ensure that it’s not causing bigger problems including sleep apnea.
3. Nasal Polyps
Swollen nasal polyps are benign masses in your nasal lining that are a result of chronic inflammation from conditions such as allergies, chronic sinus infections, and infections. Depending on their size, they can obstruct your airway, giving you that “stuffy nose” feeling and making it hard to breathe. Nasal polyps can be treated with corticosteroids, surgery, or balloon sinuplasty.
4. Colds, allergies, or sinus infections
A stuffy nose might be the result of the common cold, allergic rhinitis, or a sinus infection. All three of these can cause your sinuses and nasal passageways to become inflamed. This inflammation can trap mucus, making it hard to breathe through your nose. Generally speaking, if you suffer from allergies in Houston or are fighting off a bug, then rest and over-the-counter medication usually do the trick. But if you’ve developed a chronic sinus infection lasting longer than 12 weeks or over-the-counter medication doesn’t alleviate your allergy symptoms, you may want to schedule an appointment with your ENT.
How can I improve my breathing through my nose?
Wondering how to treat chronic sinus inflammation, nasal polyps, allergies, and other common nasal ailments? You can start by trying some at-home options like over-the-counter allergy medication, propping your pillow up while sleeping, or waiting to see if you’re able to breathe better after your sinus infection has passed.
However, if you are chronically having trouble breathing your nose, it may be time to ask your ENT for long-term solutions like balloon sinuplasty or LATERA implants.
Balloon sinuplasty in Houston is an in-office procedure that offers patients lasting relief from conditions including chronic infections, sinus headaches, chronic coughs, allergies, snoring, and difficulty breathing. The surgery is minimally invasive, pain-free, and only takes about 20 minutes to complete making it a great option for patients looking to breathe better from most of the causes of a stuffy nose.
Alternatively, LATERA implants offer another great long-term solution for difficulty breathing specifically caused by nasal obstruction including conditions like enlarged turbinates, nasal valve collapse, and deviated septums. The nasal implant helps to provide support for your lateral nasal walls, keeping your airway open while you inhale.
Have trouble breathing through your nose? Kaplan Sinus Relief offers lasting relief for nasal obstructions, allergies, chronic sinusitis, and more.
If you’re finding it hard to breathe through your nose and are unsure of what’s causing it, the next step may be scheduling an appointment with an ENT. A stuffy nose can be the result of a pesky cold, allergies, or a sinus infection or it may be due to a bigger issue like a deviated septum or nasal valve collapse requiring additional treatment from balloon sinuplasty or LATERA implants.
Looking for the best ENT in Houston? Dr. Kaplan, the founding doctor of Kaplan Sinus Relief, is one of the few ENT doctors that offers both balloon sinuplasty and LATERA implants to patients suffering from a blocked nose.
To find out if you’re a good candidate, call us at 713-766-1818 or contact us online today!
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