Allergies from Rhinoplasty?

About a year ago I had a Rhinoplasty. My nose looks fine it's the inside of my nose that's almost always dry and sometimes I can't breathe well with one of my nostrils. Inside my nose one nasal is swollen while the other is normal. This breathing pattern switches with the normal nasal and I can breathe with the swollen one. Sometimes I can breath with both. I was told by my surgeon that the problem could be allergies and can be permanent. Is it possible to treat this?

Doctor Answers 6


Surgery can not give you allergies. The nose normally cycles from side to side and you are experiencing that. It's possible that your surgery has caused some redirecting of airflow which is triggering it more. That will usually resolve with time. Saline lubrication may be very helpful.

West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Nasal Edema and Irritation

Some of the normal functional mechanisms in your nose have been altered due to the surgery required to improve the outside appearance of your nose.  The internal aspect of your nose still needs to continue to heal.  Nasal steroids such as Flonase, as well as nasal saline irrigations will help your situation if you have not tried them already.  

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Congestion and drying after rhinoplasty

There is a normal nasal cycle where the nose will congest on one side for a fews hours at a time and then switch to the other side.

Some people will get excessive crusting if they have more turbulent or increased airflow in their nose. Sometimes this is seen after turbinate reduction surgery if too much turbinate is removed.

Allergies can cause congestion symptoms so you could try treatment for this to see if it helps. If you haven't seen an otolaryngologist (ENT doctor) you may want to visit with one to examine your nose further.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

The nasal cycle

The nose actually undergoes something called the nasal cycle.  One side will become engorged with blood and congested while the other remains decongested.  This switches about every 3-4 hours.  This is the body's way of humidifying and warming the air while still allowing it to pass through the nose.  (Hence two passages versus one).  It seems that you are describing this.  

Etai Funk, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Breathing problems after rhinoplasty

Do you have an allergy history? have you seen an allergist? There are often times when the mucosa of the nose give tips to allergy. Your dr. should have informed you in advance because narrowing the nose may make breathing more difficult. The surgery itself did not cause allergies. Ask if yout middle third is too narrow. You may need spreader grafts to widen your airway.

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews


Could be a problem with your septum being deviated or an increase in the lining over the turbinate bones. Allergies are also a common reason for difficulty breathing. If your surgeon has indicated allergies are the issue, then there are a number of treatments from steroid sprays to pills to injections. This could be a structural problem and you need to be certain this has been thoroughly checked out by your doctor.

Michael Hueneke, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 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.