Whether you’re competing in triathlons or you just love to go for a run or walk in the morning, the ability to breathe easily and deeply is important. Unfortunately, you’re struggling to get air through your nostrils and you want solutions.
When it comes to breathing easier, there’s no better expert than a board-certified ear, nose, and throat specialists, such as our own Dr. Cecil Yeung and Dr. Marcus Hershey here at Houston Sinus Surgery, we specialize in breathing issues of all kinds and, below, we take a look at some of the more common culprits that can hinder your performance — and how we can fix them.
1. Deviated septum
When you breathe in through your nose, the air flows through two passageways (nostrils) that are divided by a hard piece of tissue called your septum. About 80% of people have septums that are off-center, but, for some, the deviation is enough to interfere with breathing. If you have a deviated septum in which one nostril is considerably smaller than the other, this may affect your nasal breathing.
Fortunately, the solution is fairly straightforward. We can perform a septoplasty, in which we adjust your septum to even out your nostrils.
If you have chronic sinusitis, which affects more than 12% of the population in the United States, the inflammation in your sinuses can affect how well you’re able to breathe.
We typically start conservatively when we treat sinusitis with spot medications, decongestant sprays, sinus rinses, and antibiotics for infections.
If these techniques fail to deliver lasting results and you’re still struggling to breathe when you exercise, we may recommend sinus surgery, such as a sinuplasty or an advanced and minimally invasive surgical technique called functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS).
3. Nasal polyps
Nasal polyps — which are benign growths in your nose and/or sinuses — are exceedingly common and, in most cases, pose no issues when it comes to breathing.
That said, sometimes the location, size, and/or number of nasal polyps can interfere with your ability to breathe through your nose.
If we find that nasal polyps are behind your performance-related breathing issues, we can remove the growths with the FESS technique we mentioned earlier.
4. Trauma to your nose
If your nose has been in the line of fire and incurred trauma, you can damage exterior or interior structures in a way that can cause breathing issues.
For example, you might develop nasal valve collapse. Your nasal valve is the narrowest part of your nasal airway, and if it gets weakened or damaged, this could affect your ability to breathe through your nose.
In these cases, surgery is often the best solution for restoring your ability to breathe better through your nose. Rest assured, Dr. Yeung and Dr. Hershey have extensive experience with these types of surgeries.
If you’re unsure as to which issue might be hindering your performance, or if you already know what the issue is, the next step is to sit down with us. To get on the road to better breathing when you exercise, please call 713-795-4886 or book an appointment online with Houston Sinus Surgery today.