Experiences with a distorted nasal septum?

Hey guys,

i just came back from a routine check at my otorhinolaryngologist and he told me my nasal septum was quite distorted and asked me whether it affected my breathing when doing sports.
He also said it could be fixed with a minor surgery.

The reason i went to see him is because i do in fact have trouble breathing through my nose, mainly because it gets clogged easily. I always figured it just allergies, but the distorted septum definitely makes it worse.

I’m debating whether i should go ahead and do and wanted to ask you guys if you dealt with a similar problem before.

Same, here. Deviated septum to one side, with a concha bullosa on the other side (basically, the body creates a swelling on the side with more room in order to even up the airflow).

In the winter my nose frequently swells shut, due to allergies and dry air, and I try to moderate this using nasal rinses (i.e. a neti pot) and antihistamine/steroid sprays (e.g. Dymista).

This doesn’t bother me since I’m not breathing through my nose, on the trainer or outside. I can’t get the oxygen I need unless I’m doing that deep belly-breathing.

My allergist said that I could either have the septum fixed or the concha crushed, but I’d rather not have someone monkeying around in my head if I don’t have to.

How much are you breathing through your nose during a workout or ride?

I also have a deviated septum in addition to fairly severe seasonal allergies that cause me to be unable to breathe through my nose. I haven’t had the surgery yet because I am waiting till my off season.

That being said, my wife had the surgery done and she noted a marked improvement in her ability to breathe once she was fully recovered from the surgery. In fact, she said that she didn’t realize how poorly she was breathing until she realized how great having her nose fixed was. She’s a cyclist as well and she was very pleased with how she felt post-surgery.

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I have a twice-broken nose, and twice-deviated septum.

I just breathe through my mouth. It works.

Great insight.

Does your wife also notice improved breathing when off the bike? My doctor said it will effect my everday life just as much as my performance. Improved quality of life would be a huge bonus.

You make it sound more serious than i previously expected. I really have to do some research regarding the actual procedure to fix my septum.

I do breath thorugh my mouth mainly, but i got used to that mainly because i won’t ever get enough air through my nose even at slow pace.

I am not going to give any advice about surgery.

I am not going to comment about breathing whilst training.

I will make my own personal observations though. I have broken my nose several times playing rugby and I imagine that has caused some internal blockages, or at least reduced capability. Listening to one of the TR podcasts about making sure we recovered properly and getting enough sleep (sorry I can’t remember which one) and I wondered if blockage was affecting my sleep quality. Not as bad as sleep apnoea but just general snoring.

I went on the British Association of Snoring and took their test and then followed their advice and tried a few devices. I appreciate that they are going to be biased, but I would be happy to say that I ‘feel’ like my sleep has improved from before.So I reckon this should have improved my recovery. And this is without surgery.

Best of luck

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I have sleep apnea and have had several procedures in order to improve breathing. Of all of them, correcting a deviated septum was one of the easiest.

I had a deviated septum for many years. I could breath out of one nostril (right) but not out of the left unless I closed the right one and my mouth and forcefully drove air out of the left one. I learned to live with that for a long time, but never liked it. It was somewhat uncomfortable and I knew I wasn’t breathing at my full capacity - sleeping, sport or otherwise. One day during a visit with my ENT, we discussed doing it. A week later, I had the outpatient procedure. Easy with a quick recovery. Ever since (about 10 years now) I have breathed easily through both nostrils. Not surprisingly, I wondered why I waited so long to have it done.

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Yea she definitely says she noticed a difference all the time. She joked that she was light headed from how much extra oxygen she was getting. But she said that even just sitting on the couch and sleeping was improved by how much better she could breathe

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I have had polyp removal and a general ‘cleanout’ of the sinuses 3 times, the last time they also corrected my deviated septum as best they could (been hit a number of times, there is no connected below the bridge of my nose, that bit all floats).

I was under a general for the other part of the procedures but that meant they could remove the cartilage, shave it down with a blade then reinsert.

Recovery was a couple of weeks, mainly due to the other aspects but the nose lining took a while to heal.

Breathing was a lot better and biggest difference was my sense of smell, both have remained that way for something like 15 years. Over time it is becoming more crooked, was told to expect that as apparently your nose continues to grow. Whether I need to have it done again I have no idea.

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I also had mine fixed along with sinuses, polyps removed and drainage fixed for lack of a better term.

As for my nose/septum, just the general comfort of being able to nose breath without one nostril swollen shut was worth it.
It’s all done through the nostrils unless you have a nose job at the same time.
I’m on a chronic steroid spray but that’s more because I have an “allergic nose”as the doc called it.

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acute allergic rhinitis? I take fluticasone propionate (liquid nasal spray, also take it as an inhaler) for that on a permanent basis and it seems to manage symptoms pretty well whilst at least slowing polyp regrowth.

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Yup, I use the same but only need the inhaler when my asthma flares up

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I literally covered my mouth with my hands and almost gagged at this :face_vomiting:

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