I Can't Ever Breathe Out of My Nose: Why?

The ability to breathe through your nose is often something you take for granted until the moment when you’re stuffed up by a cold or allergies. What do you do, though, when you have a stuffy nose that won’t go away?

If you can’t seem to ever breathe out of your nose, it could be due to a problem with physical obstructions in your nasal passages. Otolaryngologist Dr. Alexis Furze, MD, and our team in Newport Beach, California, specialize in diagnosing and restoring function to patients with nasal difficulties.

Let’s take a look at some common conditions that could be behind your persistent stuffy nose and how we treat them.

Nasal polyps

Noncancerous growths that form on the inside of your nostrils, nasal polyps may not cause any problems when they’re small. But they can easily become inflamed, blocking the nasal passages and interfering with the flow of air as you breathe.

Up to 40% of people experience nasal polyps in their lifetime. Inflammation of the nasal tissue causes these benign growths to form, though genetics seem to play a role in why they form in some people and not others. 

The following conditions put you at extra risk of developing polyps:

If we discover nasal polyps cause your struggle to breathe through your nose, we provide both surgical and nonsurgical options to restore a normal breathing pattern. 

Sinuva™ is an innovative treatment for nasal polyps that consists of a sinus implant that releases an anti-inflammatory to shrink tissue and reduce congestion. There’s no surgery required. 

After numbing the nose and sinuses with topical and/or local anesthetic, we place the implant into your sinus cavity through your nostril.

For cases of nasal polyps that don’t respond to anti-inflammatory treatments, endoscopic surgery may become necessary. Since we perform the removal surgery through your nasal opening, it’s minimally invasive and leaves no visible incision.

Chronic sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis refers to the ongoing inflammation of your sinuses, the cavities in your face and forehead that connect to your nasal passages. This condition obstructs mucus from properly draining, causing a stuffy nose, sinus infections, and/or nasal polyps.

While allergies, a cold or the flu can bring on acute sinusitis, the symptoms are typically short-lived and clear up quickly, defining the length of allergy season or the duration of your respiratory infection. 

If your symptoms last longer than 10 days or persistently recur, it could be chronic sinusitis. 

Along with nasal obstruction, patients with chronic sinusitis often exhibit the following symptoms:

Dr. Furze uses state-of-the-art medical imaging technology to address the problems associated with chronic sinusitis. Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) allows us to enlarge the drainage route of the sinuses to prevent mucus from building up.

Deviated septum

When the fleshy wall that divides your nostrils is crooked or off-center, causing one nasal passage to be larger than the other, you have a deviated septum. In most cases, it’s a small difference that won’t cause problems.

If you’ve ruled out other options and still wonder why you can’t breathe through your nose, it could be due to a blockage caused by a deviated septum. Signs and symptoms include:

If a deviated septum is causing moderate to severe symptoms, Dr. Furze may recommend a septoplasty. A septoplasty ensures long-term relief by surgically correcting the position of the septum.

We also offer nonsurgical options to relieve discomfort and make it easier to breathe through your nose. Dr. Furze may suggest nasal dilators, decongestants, or steroid sprays to alleviate mild symptoms associated with a deviated septum. 

If you’re struggling to pinpoint the cause of your stuffed-up nose, board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. Alexis Furze and our team are here to help. Call to make an appointment at our office in Newport Beach, California, today.

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