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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can my blocked nose be fixed?

    For about 4yrs straight now i have suffered with a blocked nose and it completely blocks when laying down and i also wake with headaches. I have no allergy symptoms ie: runny nose, itchy eyes or sneezing.It is getting worse. I had a scan and it shows bent cartilage though i have never broken my nose. If i pull my cheeks outward this opens the nasal passage.
    Please help
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 5

    Thanks

    Dr Amer Gilani

    GP (General Practitioner)

    I am working as a GP for more than 15 years. I have worked in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Australia. I can speak English, Urdu, ... View Profile

    If the nose is blocked by Mechanical obstruction like deflected nasal septum. The best and only solution will be get it corrected by operation as early as possible

  • 4

    Thanks

    Mr. Roger O'Toole

    Physiotherapist

    Roger O'Toole is the Director and senior clinician of The Melbourne Headache Centre. Since opening the Melbourne Headache Centre in 2012 Roger has amassed over ... View Profile

    Hello,
    It is right that youinvestigate the nose and related structures.

    You mention you also wake with headaches. It may not be a coincidence. The area of the brainstem responsible for headaches and migraines sits just behind the area that is responsible for discharges into the nose and sinuses.
    If you have overactivity in the “headache” centre, it may be affecting the anterior salivatory nucleus and causing your symptoms. A type of headache called Cluster Headache has as one of the key features nasal discharge - so the connection between the two areas is not unknown.
    At the very least, I would rule out your neck before going for surgery with a highly specific assessment of the joints in the upper cervical spine.

    I hope this helps.

    Regards

    Roger O'Toole
    Director and Senior Clinician
    Melbourne Headache Centre
    Phone: 03 8648 6487www.melbourneheadachecentre.com.au 
     

  • 1

    Thanks

    vera1945

    HealthShare Member

    I have solved this problem at night by not laying too flat, and wearing a breathe right nasal strip.

  • 1

    Thanks

    Mr. Roger O'Toole

    Physiotherapist

    Roger O'Toole is the Director and senior clinician of The Melbourne Headache Centre. Since opening the Melbourne Headache Centre in 2012 Roger has amassed over ... View Profile

    Glad to hear you have found some relief simply.

  • 8

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    Dr Jason Roth

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    ENT and Facial Plastic surgeon with a special interest in adult and paediatric ENT problems, rhinoplasty, facial plastic surgery, nose and sinus disorders. View Profile

    Many people experience nasal obstruction at night. Sometimes this is due to the increased congestion in the nasal mucosa including the inferior turbinates that occurs when you lie flat. 

    When you are pulling your cheeks outwards you are corrected what is called “internal nasal valve collapse”. This occurs when the internal size of your nasal airway is so small that breathing inwards collapses the skin and soft tissues inwards and completely blocks the nose.

    Breathe right strips are the commonest (and simplest) way of dealing with internal nasal valve collapse. However they are somewhat annoying and can irritate the skin when worn consistently for long periods. 

    Correting your bent septum with a septoplasty may ony partially correct your problem because the nose side walls may still collapse at night when you lie flat. Often the septoplasty needs to be combined with a turbinoplasty and the placement of small cartilage grafts to prevent the skin collapsing  inwards at night. This part of the procedure is technically more difficult and is often not mentioned to patients initially and sometimes done as a second procedure. Obviously if you were going to look into achieving a permanent solution it would be optimal to do everything at once. 

    Hopefully that information is also helpful. 

    Jason Roth
    Ear, Nose, Throat, Facial Plastic Surgeon

  • 1

    Thanks

    Dr David McIntosh

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    David McIntosh is an Australian trained ENT surgeon with international experience. His areas of interest are paediatrics, nose and sinus disease, and providing access to ... View Profile

    I agree with Jason. It sounds like there are both structural and dynamic problems contributing to your symptoms. It's great you have found a solution but time will tell if it proves to be adequate for the long term.

  • 7

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    Dr Sim Choroomi

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    Nasal obstruction from a deviated septum and large turbinates is very common. Many people have a deviated septum and do not recall an injury to their nose. You may have had a minor bump or fall as a child and the internal cartilage grew slightly warped. The outside may look perfectly straight. 

    Turbinates are our natural air filters in the nose- they warm,  humidity and filter the air we breath. They can become large and swell until they touch your septum causing the nose to block. This happens either with allergy or from lying down as more blood flows to them and engorges the tissues.

    If sprays or breath right strips (which open up the entry valve of your nostils) dont work - then an operation to correct the deviated septum and large turbinate is the next option.

  • 2

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    Anonymous

    Unblock nose by breathing only through your nose this may sound strange but once you change how you breathe it may help another effective way to unblock nose is taken breath in pinch nose and shake your head up and down a few times to help clear nasal passage.  

  • 1

    Thanks

    Anonymous

    I wish I could solve my permanently swollen nasal passages by pressing the cheeks out.  On a really good night that works momentarily.  However 99% of the time I can't breathe through my nose at all - night or day.  No infection or fluids - just lots of swelling inside the nasal passages.   Sinus cauterization brought amazing relief about 15 years ago but condition returned and they don't seem to want to do it again and have advised that surgery to correct slight deviation may well not improve the condition.   What's left for me?  I heard about laser reduction of turbinates and would be interested in investigating this at Northern end of Gold Coast.

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