I Can't Breathe Through My Nose! Let Me Tell You Why



Mai Delacruz

Mai Delacruz
Personal Fitness Trainer & Health Coach

Updated on 1/30/2023

Put your tongue back on your cheek and take some deep breaths. Do you pay any attention to the fact that air can easily pass through both sides of your nose? Or does it have a tough time moving through the space?

If you have difficulty breathing through your nose, this may indicate that you need to make an appointment with an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor). An otolaryngologist, often known as an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor or ENT, can assist you in making a diagnosis of the underlying cause of your difficulty breathing by examining your ears, nose, and throat.

Clearing the airways of obstructions and regaining full lung capacity isn't always as difficult as it may seem. However, the treatment that is prescribed for you will be different depending on the underlying reason for your breathing problems.

There are two main facts why you are unable to breathe via your nose:

nose block

nose block

In order to discover the underlying reason for your breathing problems, an ENT will perform a physical exam, explain your symptoms, and may also use other diagnostic tools. Finding a diagnosis that is spot-on is the objective here. After that, the medical staff can assist with developing an efficient treatment strategy.

Chronic sinusitis and nasal block are the two conditions that affect a person's ability to breathe through their nose more frequently than any other.

Sinusitis is a recurrent sickness that causes congestion and inflammation in the sinus cavities, and a number of different factors can cause it. Talk to our support staff about therapy for sinusitis if you frequently experience post-nasal drip, sinus infections, or any other ongoing nasal problems.

On the other hand, a nasal blockage may be the root of your breathing issues and the reason why you're having trouble breathing. This takes place when the nasal cavity becomes obstructed as a result of one or more of the following issues:

  • Allergies
  • A chill in the head
  • An infection of the sinuses
  • Medication



The majority of the time, the nasal blockage is a transitory ailment that resolves itself once the underlying problem that caused it has been treated. For instance, if you have recovered from a head cold, it will be simpler for you to inhale and exhale through your nose.

However, there are situations in which medical intervention is required due to nasal obstruction. As an illustration, there could be a physical issue that is obstructing the sinus cavity. Typical issues consist of the following:

  • A septum with a deviation
  • Nasal valve collapse
  • Hypertrophy of the inferior turbinates
  • Adenoids that are too large
  • Nasal polyps

In young children, problems with breathing through the nose can sometimes be traced to the presence of foreign items in the nose. An ENT specialist can assist in the removal of foreign objects that a kid may have put up their noses, such as small toys, crayon bits, food, beads, erasers, buttons, dried beans, or any other object.

The Treatments Available For Sinusitis And Nasal Clogging

Nasal polyps

Nasal polyps

The first important step that needs to be taken before we can devise a treatment strategy for your disease is to arrive at an accurate diagnosis of the problem. After that, we will be able to proceed with a higher level of confidence that your treatment will provide the relief that you are looking for.

When a nasal blockage develops due to persistent congestion brought on by sinusitis, the first step in treating the condition is to treat the infection causing the inflammation. Antibiotic treatment may be all that is required to eradicate the bacteria that are the root cause of infection in some cases.

In other cases, the therapy for sinusitis involves allergy medication or the elimination of irritants in the air, such as pollen, dust particles, secondhand smoking, or other factors contributing to the condition.

Typical treatments for sinusitis include the following:

  • Steroid nasal sprays
  • Avoiding environmental irritants
  • Antifungal medicines
  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamine medicines
  • Surgical treatment for structural issues

Options For Treating Other Types Of Nasal Blockages

Surgical reduction of the size of the turbinates

Surgical reduction of the size of the turbinates

If you are having trouble breathing as a result of something other than a nasal obstruction, the treatment plan will look somewhat different. Surgical procedures are typically the first line of defense in cases like this.

The following are some of the more common treatments for nasal obstruction:

  • Adenoid removal
  • Surgical reduction of the size of the turbinates
  • Sinuplasty uses balloons to widen the passageways of the sinuses.
  • Surgical intervention in order to repair a septal deviation
  • CPAP machine if it is determined that sleep apnea is the underlying cause.

The arrangement of the bones and tissues found within the nasal cavity will have an effect on the method by which air can travel through the nasal airways. Because of previous injuries or illnesses that run in their family, some people suffer from nasal blockages. Sometimes the obstruction is caused by a buildup of tissue, which can lead to the condition in conjunction with local inflammation.

A septum that is not aligned properly is a frequent problem that can make breathing difficult through the nose. The nasal cavity is partitioned off by a cartilage wall on the nose's interior. In the event that this cartilage is twisted, it has the potential to obstruct either one or both sides of the nose.

When it comes to enhancing a deviated septum, rhinoplasty is likely your best option. We will straighten the cartilage in your throat using this surgical method so that you will once again have unrestricted breathing.

You will need to undergo surgical treatment if nasal polyps block the sinus passages. This is another prevalent issue. The inflammation that causes these swollen spots to appear also affects the nose and the sinuses. As soon as the polyps reach a certain size, they will need to be removed from the body since they obstruct the airway.

Addressing The Problems That Are At Its Root

nose blockage

nose blockage

It is essential to keep in mind that the symptoms you are experiencing can provide insight into the underlying issues that need to be treated. You might get some short-term comfort from using nasal sprays or getting prompt treatment for your symptoms. But treating the underlying disease is the only way to ensure that you will be able to breathe normally through your nose in the future.

For instance, a skilled ENT can carry out a comprehensive diagnostic check to determine the factors that are obstructing your airways and making it difficult for you to breathe. After that, an individualized treatment plan can be developed to assist you in achieving both short-term and long-term relief from your symptoms.

Consider the scenario in which nasal polyps or a crooked septum are to blame for the congestion that ultimately results in sinus infections. It is possible that you will need to take an additional course of antibiotics in order to address the problem.

Antibiotics are a potential treatment option for alleviating acute symptoms. However, because the nasal passages obstruct healthy drainage from the sinuses, it is normal for the infection to reappear after it has been cleared up. You also need to consider a surgical approach to repair the physical restriction to prevent reoccurring infections in the future.

4 Warning Signs That It's Time To See An ENT



When is it appropriate to go to an ENT about your trouble breathing through your nose? How can you be sure if it's time to do so? A consultation with an ENT may be beneficial to you in the event that you have any of the following symptoms or conditions:

Timeline: You are dealing with a chronic problem when the nasal blockages linger for more than seven to ten days. Having a stuffy nose and difficulty breathing is very normal when you have a head cold. However, once the illness has passed, your breathing should return to its normal rate and pattern.

Inadequate airflow via the nasal passages has been linked to a number of painful head conditions, including headaches. Not only are you suffering from a lack of oxygen, but the pressure in your sinuses may also be to blame for your headaches.

Bleeding from the nose can be caused by blockages in the nasal passages, which can also impact drainage from the sinuses. As a sequence of this, there is a possibility that some regions of the nose will get dry because they do not receive enough moisture. Bleeding from the nose is a common side effect that may point to an obstruction in the nasal passages that has to be corrected.

Snoring: Not only is it bothersome or annoying to your sleeping companion, but it could also be a gesture of an underlying health condition that needs to be treated. Snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is a disorder that causes the airway to become blocked during sleep. Nasal blockages are another potential cause of sleep apnea, a condition in which a person temporarily stops breathing while asleep.