Why Can't I Breathe Through Nose 4 Months After Septorhinoplasty?

I broke my nose a year ago and had trouble breathing through it in the day and at night. So in November I had a septorhinoplasty completed by an ENT surgeon. It's been 4 months and I can breathe better through the day but at night the minute I lie down I struggle to they enough air in to breathe fully. Some nights I can breathe through one nostril, but usually It's blocked. My surgeon said I had a dust mite allergy but my airways are clear. So confused! I never had allergy issues before.

Doctor Answers 5

Turbinates blocking the nose

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If the nose gets blocked when you are laying down then it is likely a turbinate gland swelling. You need to use saline spray before bed, make sure you use a cool mist humidifier in the bedroom. You should also see an Otolaryngologist or an allergist and you might need some prescription nasal sprays to help you.


Dr. J

Disclaimer: This answer is not intended to give a medical opinion and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Septorhinoplasty and airway problem

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Usually after septorhinoplasty and once swelling subsides, if the airway issue was related to an anatomical problem, then often breathing improves.  However, feelings of obstruction can be multifactorial.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


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It is important you follow up with your surgeon during your postoperative period. It seems you have had improvement in your symptoms after surgery but the night problem may be the over sensitivity of your nose to the environmental irritants after surgery which could resolve with in time. Allow the completion of healing process.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

Breathing Worse at Night

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   If the surgery helped your breathing then it was a success.  I would anticipate that your breathing may continue to improve.  Continue to followup with your surgeon.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Normal nasal cycle

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It is not uncommon to have some difficulties breathing through your nose especially at night when lying down. This is called the normal nasal cycle. Sometimes surgery alters this slightly and when you lay on one side you breathe better on that side and vice versa.  This may persist for some time still. I would check with your treating surgeon but if you are breathing normally during the day then having some difficulty at night is not uncommon.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 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.