Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

One of the common complaints that can be considered as an uncomfortable condition is a blocked nose or a nasal congestion where you cannot breathe through your nose. It is essential for you to know what exactly is causing it and go for the best possible treatment plan. “Why can’t I breathe through my nose?” If this is what you are wondering about, then read the following article and discover about it.

Why Can’t I Breathe Through My Nose?

Breathing is an important function that continues voluntarily. However, any blockage in the nose or other respiratory problem that can cause hindrance in breathing can be very disturbing. Knowing about these conditions can help in every way in planning treatment.

Here are some of topmost causes that answers your query of “Why can’t I breathe through my nose?”.

  • Common Cold And Allergies –You may have difficulty breathing through your nose in case you are having common cold or allergies caused by a virus. Both these conditions can result in swelling of the sinus lining that can cause trapped mucus and a reduced airflow. Apart from this, it can also cause a sinus infection known as sinusitis and cause blockage of nose.
  • Turbinate Hypertrophy - This too is one of the commonest causes of why you can’t breathe through your nose. Turbinates are the parts attached to the inside of our nose. They help in moisturizing the air that we breathe. Due to cold, allergies, infections or hormonal changes, there may be swelling in the turbinate tissues and this can lead to a feeling or a blocked nose that can cause difficulty breathing through the nose. Severe swelling of the turbinate tissue can result in an obstruction of the nasal airway and can make it pretty difficult to properly breathe through the nose.
  • Deviated Nasal Septum - There is a condition known as deviated nasal septum that can also be one reason why you can’t breathe through your nose. The nasal septum is wall made of cartilage that separates the inside of the nose in two halves. When there is a bending of the nasal septum, there can be an obstruction of one or both the sides of the nose and can result in a deviated septum. This could cause a trauma to the nose or it can also cause difficulty breathing through the nose. Such a condition can be treated with rhinoplasty.
  • Nasal Polyps - The mass of swollen areas present in the nasal lining, usually caused by inflammation like sinusitis condition, is known as nasal polyps. If these nasal polyps are very large, there may be an obstructed airway because of them. This can be a reason why you can’t breathe through your nose.
  • Pregnancy Rhinitis – This is a condition called pregnancy rhinitis, that is a nasal congestion occurring during the pregnancy and it lasts for 6 or more week during this phase. This too can be one of the causes you can’t breathe through your nose. Rhinitis affect between 18% to 42% of the pregnant women. It affects women frequently early on during the first trimester, and then again during the late pregnancy phase. However, it can begin almost anytime during the pregnant phase. Well, the good news is that these symptoms of pregnancy rhinitis completely disappear about 2 weeks after your childbirth.
  • Nasal Valve Collapse - In front of the nose, there present the internal and the external nasal valves. These nasal valves when get narrow can block the airway. Now, what exactly can cause a nasal valve collapse? Well, a weak or an abnormally positioned outer wall of your nose can result in a nasal valve collapse that can lead to a feeling of constant blockage or blockage while you breathe through nose.
  • Adenoid Hypertrophy - Enlarged adenoids also called adenoid hypertrophy is the condition where there is an unusual growth or hypertrophy of the adenoids or the pharyngeal tonsils. This is very common condition, especially in kids and one of the main reasons why you can’t breathe through your nose. A long term adenoid hypertrophy would result in an obstruction of the airways in the nose. Infected adenoids can usually turn enlarged, but they return back to their normal size when the infections go away. Apart from this, allergies can also result in an enlarged adenoid.
  • Rhinitis Medicamentosa - One more condition why you cannot breathe through nose is Rhinitis medicamentosa. It is also known as rebound rhinitis and it is a condition that is characterized by the congestion in the nose that is triggered by an excessive use of nasal decongestants or topical vaso-constrictive medications.

Conclusion:

So, above we discussed about some of the conditions that explain your concern of why can’t I breathe through my nose? If you suffer from nose block or nasal congestion it is always essential that you see an ear, nose, throat (ENT) specialist to get the condition diagnosed and plan appropriate treatment.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 21, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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