Breathing Issues and Snoring- Long, Narrow Nose? (photo)

Hi, I've snored for as long as i can remember and do find it difficult breathing through my nose particularly with exercise. I had to quit running as it was near impossible to breathe through my nose so ended up with a dry mouth from only being able to breathe from my mouth. I have to take antihistamines every day and do suffer from post nasal drip also; is my nose being long, over projected and narrow the cause of all my issues? Will i need my nose widened??

Doctor Answers 5

Nasal blockage and a long narrow nose

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Your photo seems to show that the outer most portion of your septum is deviating to your right side (caudal septal deviation). An in person exam would be needed to fully evaluate your nose, of course, but the deviated septum could be contributing to your chronic nasal blockage.

The long, narrow appearance to your nose is likely separate from your septal issues, but there may be functional internal or external nasal valve issues related to this. Again, an exam would be the best way to determine what your options are.

Separately, your long narrow nose could be improved for aesthetic reasons if you want. You can read more about long, narrow nose rhinoplasty at my web reference link below.

Alleviating nasal obstructive symptoms

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Based on the base view you have provided, there is deviation of your caudal septum.  An intranasal exam would be necessary to determine the extent of your septal deviation and to determine what are the causes of your nasal obstructive symptoms.  The length and over-projection of your nose have no effect on your breathing, but the narrowness may.  

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Breathing issues

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Hello, and sorry to hear about the issues you are experiencing. There are many causes of impaired breathing, and a thorough in-person evaluation would be necessary to determine exactly what the issue is. Post-nasal drip can be caused by allergies, and a deviated septum can lead to breathing issues, which could be the cause of the problem. Structural abnormalities may also cause problems with breathing. I would recommend an exam by a board certified ENT, as they will be able to examine you and provide you with advice. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck.

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Probably a significant septal deviation

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While it's hard to say exactly what's going on based on your photos, it does appear that your septum is likely deviated, which is contributing to your breathing problems.  The nostrils being long and narrow does not help your cause.  The nostrils, end of the septum, and normal structures inside the nose form what is called the external nasal valve.  The nostrils being narrow can contribute to collapse of the external nasal valve during inspiration (breathing in) because of "Bernoulli's principle."  Briefly, when air flows through your narrow nasal passages, it causes a decrease in pressure, which allows the walls of the nostril to collapse in.  Strong nose cartilage helps combat this collapse.  An exam can help determine if strengthening these cartilages with grafts can help prevent external nasal valve collapse in you.  Straightening your caudal septum (the end of your septum), and decreasing the size of your inferior turbinates (turbinate reduction, or turbinoplasty) can help your breathing as well.

To find out which treatment is right for you, I strongly suggest an in-person consultation with a qualified surgeon.  Good luck!

Multiple breathing issues

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  There are multiple issues  fat can cause nasal obstruction which include a deviated septum, fractured nose, turbinate hypertrophy and valve collapse. Allergies are treated medically, not surgically. Patient with long, tall and thin noses can sometimes have trouble breathing through the nose since only a very slight deviation could cause significant nasal obstruction.

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.