I have noticed that I breathe through one of my nostrils much easier than the other, especially after exercise? (photo)

My septum is pretty deviated. Would a septoplasty alone fix this? Would it fix my breathing issues and also make my nose look normal? I don't want any other cosmetic changes, I just want to breathe and look normal.

Doctor Answers 5

Nasal obstruction, deviated septum, cannot breathe from the nose

Hello, your question is very common and a practical one. Indeed, a deviated septum can definitely contribute to difficulty in breathing from the nose. It should be noted however that there are other issues that may contribute as well. The turbinates are your 'air conditioners" of the nose and may be slightly enlarged making it too crowded to breathe well. There are actually internal nasal valves inside the nose that may collapse when you breathe in or are slightly weak and collopase that may be an issue. If you have chronic allergies or nasal polyps those can also contribute as well to difficulty in breathing. The only way to really determine the cause(s) is for an examination in the office.

Detroit Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Deviated septum and breathing problems

There are multiple reasons that patients have difficulty breathing of the nose such as a deviated septum, nasal fracture, turbinate hypertrophy, allergies, valve collapse and vestibular stenosis. Each one of these is treated differently. An in person consultation and examination will be required to determine the next step. For more information on nasal surgery please see the link below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Limited Nasal Breathing

Correction of the obvious septal deviation will improve your breathing but I cannot tell you that the septoplasty will correct all your breathing problems without an examination.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Would a septoplasty fix my breathing or is more surgery required?

The answer to your question would require an in-person exam. However, your photo does show deviation of the lower end of your septum which would require septoplasty and repositioning of that cartilage to help you breathe. It is not possible to determine if you have other causes of breathing problems (large turbinates, valve collapse) that would be addressed at the same time. Only an examination can reveal exactly what would be required. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

I have noticed that I breathe through one of my nostrils much easier than the other, especially after exercise?

You would need to be examined to determine the possible causes of your unilateral breathing problems. About 70 % of the time, the breathing improves after anatomic causes are improved. The cosmesis of the nose will have to be addressed separately by knowing what you would consider normal.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 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.