I Can Only Breathe from One Side of my Nose Which Changes Day To Day, What's The Cause?

I can only breathe from one side of my nose, and that side changes throughout the day. This has been going on for as long as I can remember. While playing basketball in high school I was hit in the nose, and received the only bloody nose I've ever had. If I had to pin point a time where I may have experienced "trauma" to my nose it would be then.

Doctor Answers 2

Breathing issue that alternates between each side of nose

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Trauma to the nose can result in a fracture or deviation of the internal portion of the septum known as a deviated septum.  A deviated septum usually causes decreased breathing issues consistently out of one side of the nose.  A tall thin nose with flail upper lateral cartilages can also cause what is known as valve collapse and vestibular stenosis on the internal portion of the nose and is accentuated when trauma occurs to his midthird of the nose.  The breathing issues that occur from side to side consistently changing throughout the day is more likely caused from turbinate hypertrophy, which is caused from a variety of issues such as allergies, altitude, air pressure changes, hormones, and sinuses problems.  The diagnosis of this must be made at the time of the physical examination.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Breathing through one side of the nose can be norma.

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What you are describing is normal.  Throughout the day, one side of the nose will be congested while the other side does most of the breathing.  When breathing, the movement of air through one nostril can cause dryness.  To allow the nostril to remoisten itself, it will become congested and the other side will do the breathing.  This cycle occurs continuously throughout the day

Jonathan Sonne, MD
Naples Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.