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Can rhinoplasty help with breathing issues?

Many people think that rhinoplasty is purely a cosmetic procedure. Whilst there is no doubt that it is a popular choice for people who are dissatisfied with the shape, size or general appearance of their nose, rhinoplasty can also serve another important purpose – it can help patients who may ordinarily struggle to get enough air through their nose breathe more easily.

How our nose affects our breathing

There are two passageways through which air can enter our bodies. These are the mouth and the nose. Our respiratory system is essential to sustain our lives, enabling oxygen to flood into our bodies where it is used to keep our cells healthy and make energy. Carbon dioxide is the waste gas that is produced when carbon is combined with oxygen to make energy for us to use, and our body also expels this product via our nose and mouth. Breathing is so fundamentally instinctive that most of the time we don’t even realize that we are doing it.

Many people believe that the mouth is the most important part of our airway for oxygen to flow into and carbon dioxide to flow out of our respiratory system. However, nasal breathing is generally considered to be much healthier and more effective since the hairs inside our nose help to filter out irritants before they enter our lungs. Nasal breathing also causes us to take much deeper breaths, giving our bodies greater levels of oxygen which is better for our health and wellbeing.

Why might the shape of our nose prevent us from breathing properly?

Genetics are primarily responsible for determining the shape and size of our nose as well as specific elements of the feature, such as the nostrils. However, it is possible for some people to experience issues with the growth of their nose that causes issues with the way that air can enter the body. Other people may suffer an accident or trauma that causes damage to their nose that subsequently compromises airflow. For example, it is much more difficult for air to pass through a flattened nose with small nostrils than one that has wider, more open nostrils. Similarly, if you have a deviated septum, which is the wall that separates the nostrils, you may find that air becomes partially blocked and you cannot get as much oxygen as you should through your nose.

How can rhinoplasty help with breathing problems?

If you are suffering from breathing problems, your rhinoplasty surgeon can work with you to determine which changes are needed to open up your airway and make it easier for air to pass through your nose to your lungs. Your surgeon will explain what these changes will mean in terms of what will happen during procedure and how they will affect the esthetic appearance of your nose. This process may involve building up the framework of the nose using cartilage from another part of the body, or restoring the septum. It may be necessary to enlarge your nostrils also. Rest assured that wherever possible, your surgeon will place the surgical incisions inside your nose so that scarring is hidden.

If you would like more information on how rhinoplasty surgery can help with breathing problems, or if you would like to arrange for your confidential consultation with our dedicated rhinoplasty team, please contact our offices to schedule an appointment.