Rhinoplasty is typically considered to be a purely aesthetic procedure. Certainly, rhinoplasty can be one of the best ways to make cosmetic improvements to the size, shape, and structure of your nose, but there can also be some functional benefits. For example, rhinoplasty can sometimes address difficulties with breathing, including common problems like sleep apnea and snoring. In fact, a significant number of the rhinoplasty patients we see are motivated not just by aesthetic goals, but by a desire to improve their breathing.
What Causes Breathing Problems?
There are a number of reasons why patients may struggle to breathe properly, but the most common factor by far is a structural abnormality of the nose itself.
An especially common structural issue is what doctors call a deviated septum. The septum is the thin piece of cartilage that separates your nose into two chambers. Ideally, your septum is centered, allowing air to flow easily and effortlessly through both chambers.
It is not uncommon to have a septum that is crooked or uncentered. This results in one nasal passageway that is smaller than the other, which in turn leads to difficult or labored breathing.
Many people have a deviated septum and do not even realize it. In fact, a majority of people have some level of deviation in their septum, though the problem is often so minor that it does not impact breathing or require treatment. But if you do have a deviated septum or other breathing problems, they can impact your health in several ways.
What are the Most Common Nasal Breathing Problems?
There are a number of common symptoms of impaired nasal breathing. If you have any of these symptoms, we invite you to learn more about correcting the problem with surgical intervention.
- Constant or chronic nasal congestion
- Difficulty breathing through one or both nostrils
- Recurring nasal headaches
- Chronic or regular nasal pressure
- Facial pain or pressure
Why is Healthy Nasal Breathing So Important?
Anyone who has ever battled long-term nasal congestion knows how frustrating it can be. But there are a number of other reasons why healthy nasal breathing is important for your overall health and wellbeing.
In addition to delivering oxygen, the nasal passages also filter hot and cold air, a critical role in healthy respiratory function.
Additionally, if you have a deviated septum, you run a much higher risk of getting sinus infections. You also run a higher risk of developing a potentially life-threatening condition called sleep apnea.
The bottom line is that having healthy nasal breathing is essential for quality of life and overall health and wellbeing.
How Does Rhinoplasty Help Address Breathing Problems?
Rhinoplasty procedures are always personalized to match the needs and expectations of the individual. What this means is that, for patients who breathe just fine, we may recommend a functional rhinoplasty. This is a “nose job” that adjusts or removes cartilage, bone, and tissue, altering the cosmetic appearance of the nose.
For patients who are also experiencing breathing issues, however, we may recommend pairing a functional rhinoplasty with what is known as a septoplasty. Simply put, this is a procedure that centers, straightens, or otherwise addresses the deviated septum. The result is much healthier, much more natural airflow.
Do You Need a Septoplasty?
The best way to determine whether or not you need a septoplasty, in addition to your rhinoplasty, is to join us for a consultation. Dr. Nima will discuss your breathing symptoms with you, perform a physical evaluation, and perhaps even request to take some images. Based on all of this information, he can advise you on whether septoplasty would produce real improvements to your breathing and quality of life.
Will Rhinoplasty Help Sleep Apnea?
As we mentioned above, having a deviated septum can place you in a higher risk category for sleep apnea. This is a fairly common but very serious condition in which your breathing is interrupted throughout the night. It typically results in chronic fatigue, daytime drowsiness, and a host of other health complications.
There is much evidence showing that a functional rhinoplasty can lead to significant improvements for patients who have sleep apnea. A rhinoplasty can repair any anatomical issues that obstruct airflow and also ensure healthy, clear nasal passages.
Will Rhinoplasty Help Snoring?
If you struggle with chronic snoring (or if your partner has complained about your snoring), that may be a sign that you could benefit from a rhinoplasty. A rhinoplasty procedure can clear the airways and remove any anatomical obstacles that hinder healthy breathing. Since snoring is typically caused by problems with the airways, rhinoplasty can provide a lasting solution.
Is Rhinoplasty Right for You?
There are plenty of reasons why you might consider getting rhinoplasty. Certainly, this procedure can be an effective way to enhance the physical appearance of your nose and to bring the nose into greater harmony with the surrounding facial features.
But rhinoplasty can also lead to real improvements to your health and quality of life. This is especially true of patients who have breathing problems, snoring, and sleep apnea.
If you are curious about getting a “nose job” or believe you have breathing problems that require treatment, we welcome you to contact our practice. We would love to sit down with you and discuss the options for dealing with impaired breathing.
To schedule a rhinoplasty consultation, contact Eos Rejuvenation today.