Do you have chronic symptoms like a stuffy nose, wheezing, throat tightness, and shortness of breath? Experiencing these signs of nasal breathing problems can affect your ability to perform simple, everyday tasks, impact your productivity at work, and overall make you feel exhausted.
Keep reading to learn more about what could be causing your nasal breathing problems and how they can be relieved.
There are several reasons you may be having trouble breathing through your nose. They include:
An allergy occurs when your body reacts to something typically harmless, like pollen, some insect stings, pet dander, weed, mold, and grass. When you have allergies, your airway fills with mucus and becomes narrower due to having an allergic reaction to an allergen.
With allergies, you might feel like you cannot inhale as fully as you’d want. Other uncomfortable symptoms include:
If your ENT specialist suspects your allergies are impacting your ability to breathe, they can conduct an allergy test to determine what you’re allergic to. Based on the results, your ENT specialist at Specialty Care Institute may prescribe medications like antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays to treat your allergy symptoms.
Alternatively, they may suggest immunotherapy to help you build up a resistance to specific allergens over time.
The septum is the cartilage and bone that divides your nostrils. When the septum is crooked or leans more towards one side, it’s deviated.
Your deviated septum could be due to trauma like a sports injury or a car accident. You can also be born with one. Having a deviated septum can lead to numerous breathing problems.
A deviated septum can cause various symptoms such as:
You may be prescribed medications like decongestants and antihistamines if you have a deviated septum. Taking these can clear your sinus passages and minimize discomfort.
You might also be given a nasal steroid spray to ease your symptoms and offer relief. But if these options are ineffective, you may require a septoplasty procedure.
Septoplasty is a non-invasive procedure used to straighten your septum. Many patients find that after undergoing a septoplasty, they begin experiencing improved breathing very quickly.
Exposure to dry air, pollution, dust, and smoke can cause environmentally-induced allergies. Symptoms of these types of allergies often flare with temperature and atmospheric pressure changes.
Signs of environmentally-induced allergies include:
Allergies due to environmental factors are typically treated with a nasal steroid. In most cases, avoiding specific environments can prevent symptoms.
If your allergies continue to wreak havoc despite trying these options, you may be given allergy drops or shots. These treatments can help train your immune system to tolerate allergens and relieve symptoms.
Sinusitis develops when your sinuses become infected, irritated, or inflamed. The condition makes it much more difficult to breathe through the nose for about one to two weeks due to inflammation.
After this period, the inflammation usually dissipates, allowing your congested sinuses to drain.
Sinusitis can lead to symptoms like:
Your doctor at Specialty Care Institute can prescribe antibiotics if it’s a bacterial infection. But if an allergy is responsible for your symptoms, you may be given antihistamines.
They may also provide you with steroid nasal drops or sprays to reduce swelling in your sinuses. Treatment aims to alleviate your symptoms and ensure air and mucus flow through your sinuses.
Chronic sinusitis occurs when your sinus passages, which are hollow spaces in your head and nose, swell and become unable to drain mucus properly for three months or more.
Some of the debilitating symptoms of chronic sinusitis include:
The treatment options available for chronic sinusitis will depend on the cause of your infection and how long it’s persisted. For instance, an extended course of antibiotics can relieve your symptoms if it’s a bacterial infection.
But if they don’t work or bacteria isn’t the cause of your sinusitis, your ENT specialist might recommend a procedure like a balloon sinuplasty.
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure performed on an outpatient basis. It has been very successful in treating chronic sinusitis.
The surgeon uses a tiny, flexible balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways during the treatment. When the balloon is gently inflated, it widens and restructures the walls of your sinus passage while preserving the integrity of the sinus lining.
Increasing the size of your sinus cavities improves breathing and drainage and relieves pain and pressure from chronic sinusitis.
If you’re not a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty, your ENT specialist may suggest sinus surgery as a long-term solution. The surgery aims to open blocked passageways and restore normal sinus function.
Endoscopic sinus surgery, or ESS, is a standard surgical method to treat chronic sinusitis. In ESS, the surgeon inserts an endoscope – a tube with a camera at the tip, through your nostrils to view and remove blockages such as scar tissue and nasal polyps.
The surgeon may end the procedure with a sinus wash to eliminate bacteria and debris.
If you’re having trouble breathing out of your nose, it’s essential to get to the bottom of the problem. Our expert team at Specialty Care Institute can determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and offer comprehensive treatment to restore normal breathing.
Are you ready to find the solution to your breathing problems? Schedule your appointment at Specialty Care Institute at one of our locations in Barrington, Hoffman Estates, or Elgin, IL!