I Find Breathing Difficult (Laboured) Through my Nose, Especially the Left Nostril? (photo)

Hello, i generally always find it very hard to breath through my nose, especially the left nostril, so I generally only breathe through my mouth. I'm also getting eye pressure problems/headache/migraines the eye doctor reckons its sinus problems (maybe insufficient airflow coz I generally only breathe through my mouth?). The MRI shows the left air passageway to be very narrow and sort of bent half way down. Is this normal would surgery be recommended or beneficial?

Doctor Answers 2

Blocked breathing in left nostril

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The first step in determining why you're having trouble breathing through your nose is to have a specialist (otolaryngologist or facial plastic surgeon) exam you. This is an invaluble step in finding out what could be causing your symptoms and what treatments may help.

Unfortunately, the MRI images you provided are fairly limited when in comes to evaluating the nasal cavity and septum. A CT scan is more typically used to evaluate for sinus disease and to see if that could be causing your headache symptoms.

You can check out my web reference link below to learn more about septoplasty surgery -- a common treatment for nasal blockage.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Difficulty breathing through nose

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There are reasons why patients ultimately breathe out of one side of the nose or the other.  These issues include a deviated septum, turbinate hypertrophy and valve collapse (vestibular stenosis) on the affected side.  Many of these issues are due to congenital or traumatic causes.  An MRI of the sinuses is an inadequate test to look at any sinus related issues and a CAT scan of the paranasal sinuses must be performed to look for any sinus disease.  These are performed in both axilla and coronal dimensions for full view of the sinus anatomy.  Any sinus and breathing related surgeries can be done simultaneously.  Please see the link below for our sinus surgery brochure. 

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 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.