You may know rhinoplasty as the surgical procedure called a “nose job.” But in addition to altering the look of your nose, rhinoplasty can improve its function. Consider this: Each year surgeons perform more than 200,000 rhinoplasties, and you may find it surprising to learn that a good portion of those operations are for non-cosmetic reasons. 

At Southern ENT Associates Associates, our experienced surgeons have performed many rhinoplasties to help our patients breathe easier. Read on to learn why a rhinoplasty may be right for you, especially if you have problems breathing through your nose.

Problems breathing through the nose

Difficulty breathing through the nose is one of the most common medical reasons for rhinoplasty. If you’re a mouth-breather and experience issues breathing through one or both nostrils, a rhinoplasty may help you breathe easier.

Health effects of nasal obstruction

Difficulty breathing through your nose is more than a mere nuisance; it can cause or contribute to serious health issues. Improper airflow through the nose can disrupt your sleep and cause daytime fatigue and problems concentrating. 

It can also contribute to sleep apnea, a condition that raises your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Sleep apnea occurs when you briefly stop breathing multiple times during sleep.

And when your airflow is blocked, your sinuses are unable to drain properly. This raises your risk of recurrent infection, known medically as chronic sinusitis.

What causes nasal obstruction?

Many of our patients who have trouble breathing through their nose have abnormalities in the structure of their nose. A crooked septum is a common structural issue. Your nose is divided by a piece of cartilage that splits it into two chambers. When the septum deviates to one side or the other, this imbalance interferes with proper airflow.

A slightly off-center septum usually doesn’t cause serious issues, but a moderate or severely deviated septum can make it difficult to breath through your nose. Most people who have a deviated septum are completely unaware of it.

Nasal obstruction can cause symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Nasal pressure
  • Nasal congestion
  • Facial pain and pressure

Allergies can cause nasal obstruction

Undiagnosed or poorly managed allergies can damage the structure of your nose. When your body has an allergic reaction to things you breathe in from the environment, such as pollen, it releases chemicals that promote inflammation. It’s the ongoing inflammation that can narrow and block nasal passages and cause problems breathing through your nose.

When this is the case, it’s important to treat and manage your allergies along with the rhinoplasty, if we recommend surgery.

Is rhinoplasty right for me?

Functional rhinoplasty involves reshaping the nose to restore nasal airflow and proper drainage. This helps you breathe better. A septoplasty is surgery to correct a deviated septum specifically. During a septoplasty, your surgeon straightens the septum to allow for better airflow.

At Southern ENT Associates, our providers tailor surgery to your underlying problem. Scheduling a consultation with one of our highly skilled providers is the only way to know if surgery is the right option for your circumstances.

Importance of good nasal airflow

Many people take breathing in and out of their nose for granted until something goes wrong. Your nasal passages do much more than deliver oxygen. They filter the air as it enters your nose, playing a key role in respiratory function.

If you have blocked airflow, your nose is unable to function properly to filter out germs and harmful bacteria, and your nasal passages are unable to drain properly, which can lead to a host of issues. 

You don’t have to live with problems breathing through your nose. Our team of otolaryngologists and head and neck surgeons get to the source of your breathing dysfunction and create a treatment plan that addresses your breathing issues so you can breathe better and feel better.

For an initial consultation, call one of our seven Louisiana locations, or request an appointment using our online form.

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