More than 20 million people in the United States suffer from restricted nasal breathing. Are you part of this group? Have you tried over the counter medications without results? Have you ever considered undergoing surgery to open the nasal passages?

There are many benefits to better nasal breathing including better sleep and improved exercise tolerance. If you’re still on the fence about undergoing a surgical procedure, let us explain more about the procedure and the benefits offers.

What Is Nasal Obstruction Surgery?

There are different main types of nasal obstruction surgery that one might undergo depending on their condition. These are sinus surgery, septoplasty, turbinate reduction, and rhinoplasty.

Sinus Surgery

The surgeon widens the natural openings of the sinuses. The sinuses are like a bathtub, they get full of “gunk” when the drain is blocked. Sinus surgery creates a wider opening, so mucous can flow out the way it was intended. Patients can also self irrigate their sinuses after having them opened to prevent future infections.

Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction

In this surgery the bent cartilage of the septum (which divides the nose into two sides) is removed. The turbinates are shelves along the side of your nose that filter and warm the air that we breathe. These can grow too large and obstruct the nose. In a turbinate reduction some of this tissue is removed to open the airway.


A functional rhinoplasty is needed if there has been trauma to the nose and there is a deformity of the nasal bones in addition to the septum. In a functional rhinoplasty or “nose job” the nose can be straightened and any collapse will be corrected.

Benefits of Nasal Obstruction Surgery

This surgery provides a lot of health benefits. The following are some of the most noteworthy benefits you might experience after undergoing it:

Stop Mouth Breathing

Nasal breathing delivers the majority of airflow to your lungs. If you’re not able to take deep, full breaths in through your nose, you might find yourself taking lots of shallow breaths throughout the day or breathing through your mouth to compensate.

Mouth breathing isn’t comfortable for anyone. It can be especially problematic for athletes and active individuals. They might have a harder time breathing during their sport of choice and unable to perform to the best of their abilities. Mouth breathing at night can leave patients with dry mouth, sore throat and raspy voice. Mouth breathing for many years drys out the tissues of the mouth and can cause damage to teeth and gums.

Reduced Snoring

If you have a hard time breathing through your nose and tend to be a mouthbreather, you likley snore when nighttime rolls around. Have you noticed that you wake up in the morning with a dry mouth and a scratchy throat? Does your partner regularly sleep on the couch to get some peace and quiet?

If this is the case, nasal surgery might be beneficial. It could open the airways and help you breathe through your nose so you can stay quiet while you sleep.

Improved Sleep

Mouthbreathing and snoring aren’t just a problem for your sleeping partner. They’re a problem for you, too.

If you’re struggling with these issues, chances are you’re not sleeping as soundly as you’d like. Not sleeping well at night will often lead you feeling fatigued throughout the day. You also might not recover as well from your workouts, and you have a harder time being productive at work.

Quality sleep is essential for all aspects of our lives, and nasal surgery could help you to finally start enjoying it.

Improved Respiratory Health

When your nasal passageways are clear and open, you’ll be less prone to sinus infections, and upper respiratory infections. Even if you do develop these issues in the future, you might find that your symptoms are less severe. With your sinuses more open, you won’t notice the effects of temporary congestion as much as you might have before. Additionally, any nasal steroid or medication you might need will be easier to get in, and actually be effective.

Signs You Need Surgery

Millions of people throughout the country are dealing with nasal obstructions. Not all of these people need surgery, though. If you’re unsure of whether or not you need this procedure, ask yourself the following questions:

  • You struggle with chronic sinus infections
  • You cannot breathe through your nose
  • You are always congested on at least one side
  • Your nose is often dripping or full of mucous
  • You have facial pressure and headaches
  • You have the above symptoms and have failed more conservative measures

In all of these situations, surgery can be a good option to consider. You should schedule a consultation with a doctor for a full examination. During your consultation the doctor will tell you what they recommend and which type of procedure will be most effective for you.

How to Prepare for Surgery

If you decide to undergo surgery for nasal obstruction, there are a few steps you can take to help it go as smoothly as possible. The following are some of the most effective tips your doctor might recommend:

  • Stopping the use of aspirin two weeks prior to surgery
  • Stopping the use of ibuprofen five days prior to surgery
  • Stopping smoking at least three weeks prior to surgery

You’ll also need to talk to your doctor about any other medications you’re taking. They’ll let you know whether you need to stop taking them leading up to your procedure.

What to Expect Post-Surgery

In most cases, nasal surgery takes between one and three hours to complete. The duration will vary based on your condition and the amount of work the surgeon must do to open up your airways.

This surgery is either done under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Generally nasal surgery is done an endoscope, which is inserted through the nostril. There are no cuts on the outside of the nose.

Most patients are able to return to work and/or school about one week after the surgery. It’s normal to experience nasal stuffiness and mucous drainage for about 2-4 weeks following the procedure. After this initial recovery period, your symptoms will likely improve and you’ll be able to breathe with ease.

Schedule Your Surgery Today

Does nasal obstruction surgery seem like a good idea for your symptoms? Are you ready to breathe easily and feel relief from congestion, snoring, and other issues? If so, we’re here to help at Face Forward.

Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer for chronic nasal obstruction or to schedule an appointment. We also offer a variety of other cosmetic procedures including rhinoplasty, which can be performed at the same time as functional nasal surgery.