Sunday, October 31, 2010

Non surgical, non-medical treatment for collapsed nostrils (nasal valve collapse)

Nostrils by David ShankboneImage via Wikipedia
One, if not the most difficult thing to do is find a non medical device that will help you breath, especially when you have a nostril that is collapsed or weakened (nasal valve collapse-internal or external), or septum which deviates to one of the sides. It for me, especially has become a challenge when i become congested on my worse side which is often, and probably a secondary condition to my nasal collapse. My collapsed side is very narrow more so in middle section with a septum that already deviates towards it, which then doesn't allow enough space to breath properly especially when the turbinates start to swell creating blocked up congestion leading to post nasal drip. One factor that I realize that aggravates this problem is salt. After eating a meal high in salt, my collapsed side gets worse. Another factor is humidity. I've noticed after a shower, i can become congested as well, but not as bad now since my turbinates were partially removed. Cold weather can be another factor. Over the nearly 30 years of suffering with my nose, i have tried different treatments and have had surgery's along the way, which changes the way your nose will respond to treatments as well. Other factors could be allergic reaction to dust, strong scents, a pet, etc etc... I have been on non steroidal sprays which don't work for me as effectively as it once did since my last surgery but still works at times. I also use to take anti inflammatory medication which seemed to give a little relief. When all else fails i would take my over the counter (otc) decongestant nose spray. Problem with that spray however is after taking it for few days straight it causes rebound congestion, making my problem much worse for days. I also use a ocean spray nasal mist every day to hydrate my nose, which is important if you've had nose surgery and experience some degree of dryness. Problem again is all these liquid sprays can and for me does cause post nasal drip. Occasionally instead of the otc decongestant spray i will take otc decongestant pill in its place. This can be better option at times, however the pill form can still cause rebound congestion if taken too often and has other side effects which affect your blood pressure, and even you heart rate.

The options for non medicated relief is limiting for those suffering with collapse&/or blocked nostril(s). Some find salt water or baking soda mixes or drops of solutions in water using a neti pot helpful for sinus issue's. Some will do steam treatments by draping a towel over their heads above a hot steaming bowl of water or mix. You may even try menthol or other topical ointment products. However if you have a collapsed nostril or over enlarged turbinate issues then those treatments won't be of much use. The only other non medicated treatment that may be of help are the nasal breath strips you place over the middle area of your outer nose, like a bandaid. For me this may work well for the first hour, but after that my nose becomes itchy from the adhesive and the strip starts to weaken over a few hours as well. It also may not open the area as much as you need or would like. So whats left??? Well there is one other option i discovered after seeing a well known nose surgeon named Dr.Dean Toriumi in Chicago a year ago. After one of my visits with him, he mentioned that i could try a plastic nose splint (plastic internal dilator) which he helped design. They go inside the nostrils and are much stronger then the otc nasal strips. Because only one side of my nose is very  hard to breath with i only use one splint . It takes time to notice its effect, but after a couple hours i find that it does help my congestion problem which then helps me breath better. I usually will try to sleep with it over night. It's not a cure, but it's the best non medicated treatment i have available, which  helps reduce the use of otc medications and therefore I strongly recommend it.

For more information contact Dr. Dean Toriumi's office.

***Update:  Dec.27 , 2010***

Here are some more new non-medicated options for nasal valve collapse utilizing internal nasal dilators such as: unseen nasal dilator, breathe with eez, nozovent & sinus cones. I will be doing another post soon on  minor surgical techniques for correcting nasal valve collapsing. But in the meantime do yourself a favor and check out the links down below. They discuss all kinds of breathing issue's with the nose and the many different options available to improve it.

Unusual but somewhat effective treatment for Nasal Valve Collapse
Muscle-building therapy in treatment of nasal valve collapse.
M Vaiman, E Eviatar, S Segal
 The present study was performed to investigate the best way to combine transcutaneous and intranasal surface electromyography (sEMG) biofeedback training of muscles involved in nasal valve function with a home exercise program and electric stimulation of nasal muscles. 

CONCLUSION: Relieve of nasal valve stenosis and collapse can be achieved with a complex muscle-building therapy as described. It helps a significant cohort of patients with symptoms of obstructed nasal breathing to avoid surgical intervention. Electric stimulation of the muscles does not contribute significantly in achieving of good results.

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  1. So you have had multiple surgeries and still have quite severe breathing problems? That isn't very hopeful, what procedures did you have, and what was the cause of your nasal valve collapse?

    1. My primary rhinoplasty was the cause of my nasal valve collapse. Unfortunately the two other surgeries I had to try and correct it were not successful, mostly due to poor planning, surgery, & knowledge of surgeon.

  2. Where can I find exercises for muscle-building therapy in treatment of nasal valve collapse

    1. The study doesn't mention home exercises you can do. I've provided a new link above which goes into detail about the study and upgraded my links.