Back when I was finishing college part time in Denver, I gradually lost the ability to breathe through my nose. My left nostril was almost always closed, and my right was mostly closed most of the time. I also was stuffed up fairly often without other symptoms of sickness. It was one of those body things that just happened over time and I never gave it much thought; that was just my reality.
One day, I mentioned it to my brother who is 13 years older than me. Turns out he had the same problem most of his life, but he eventually went to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) who diagnosed him with a deviated septum. In short, this is when the inside of your nose didn’t quite form right, and apparently a lot of people have it to varying degrees.
If your septum is deviated enough, like my brother’s and mine was, you might have a septoplasty in your future. It’s basically a corrective surgery to realign the septum in your nose to open the passageway and allow you to breathe through it.
Now, physically, I’m a relatively healthy person. I’m overweight, but I don’t have any serious physical problems. I got diagnosed and had the surgery in 2017 and it is probably the single best thing I’ve ever done for my body. It had been so long since I was used to being able to breathe through my nose, I forgot how wonderful it is.
If you have trouble breathing through your nose, or you think you might have a similar problem, I highly recommend getting it checked with an ENT. Because of our insurance, I needed a referral from my general doctor first. But I’m fortunate enough that it wasn’t a difficult process, and it truly was a life changer for me.