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Why Can’t I Breathe Through My Nose?

Breathing is usually an autonomous function, which is why struggling to breathe through your nose can be jarring or distracting. Let’s explore some of the common reasons you might be having trouble breathing through your nose, and what you can do about it.

One of the most common causes of nasal congestion is allergies. Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, occurs when your immune system overreacts to allergens like pollen, dust mites or pet dander. When you come into contact with these allergens, your nasal passages become inflamed, leading to congestion, sneezing and difficulty breathing through your nose. Identifying and avoiding your triggers, as well as using antihistamines or nasal sprays, can help alleviate symptoms and improve airflow.

Other culprits behind nasal congestion are sinus infections. When the sinuses become infected or inflamed due to a virus or bacterial infection, they can swell and produce excess mucus, blocking the nasal passages and making it difficult to breathe. In addition to congestion, sinus infections often cause facial pain or pressure, headaches and a reduced sense of smell. Rest, hydration and over-the-counter medications like decongestants or nasal irrigation can help clear up sinus infections and relieve congestion.

In some cases, structural abnormalities within the nose can also contribute to difficulty breathing. A deviated septum, nasal polyps or enlarged turbinates can obstruct airflow and lead to chronic congestion. These issues may require more intensive medical intervention, such as surgery, to correct. An ENT specialist can evaluate your nasal anatomy and recommend the most appropriate treatment option for your specific situation.

It’s important to remember that chronic nasal congestion should not be ignored because it can impact your quality of life and potentially lead to complications like infections or sleep apnea. If you’re struggling to breathe through your nose on a regular basis, it’s time to seek medical advice from an ENT doctor. They can help identify the underlying cause of your symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan to help you breathe easier.

Breathing shouldn’t be something you have to think about, and the doctors at Biltmore ENT are here to help. To schedule an appointment, call (602) 560-1085.

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