Ask a doctor

I Can Breath Easily out of One Nostril but Can Hardly Breath at All out of the Other One?

Because of the nasal cycle this makes me a mouth breather half the time is their any way to affect or reverse this cycle.

Doctor Answers (3)

One side of your nose has a permanent obstruction.

+1
Whichever side you can't breathe from has an obstruction that is permanent. You most likely have a deviated nasal septum that blocks most or all of your airway. Your nasal valve may be collapsed or the turbinate enlarged on that side. A simple exam with an otolaryngologist will give you a diagnosis and a septoplasty will most likely correct your breathing issue on the obstructed side. Once that obstruction is corrected, your normal nasal cycle should no longer bother you.


Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Nasal airway

+1

The nasal cycle is a normal physiologic process. Most people don't notice it if their nasal airway is adequate to begin with. Most likely you have an anatomic obstruction that makes this noticeable. You should schedule an appointment with a Board Certified Otolaryngologist to determine what this might be so you can get proper advice on how best to treat it. Best of luck.

A. Joshua Zimm, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Nasal cycle and congestion

+1

You are correct that the nasal cycle causes one side of the nose to be more congested and one side more open at any given time. The congested side and open side alternate approximately every four hours or so. Most people who have open nasal passages never notice the nasal cycle, however, because the breathing passages on each side are wide enough to tolerate the little bit of swelling that happens during the nasal cycle. When people start to be bothered by the normal nasal cycle, it is usually because their nasal passages are narrow at baseline, and when the small amount of swelling occurs during the nasal cycle, their nasal passage closes entirely on the more congested side. This narrowing may be due to inferior turbinate hypertrophy, nasal septal deviation, nasal polyps, or other causes. I recommend an in-person consultation with a board certified ENT who can do a proper intranasal exam and let you know what's going on. Good luck!

Dara Liotta, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.