Breathing difficulty is a worrisome sensation, which can lead you to feel as though normal breathing is a challenge or that you have to work harder to get adequate air supply. Breathing problems can result from many different factors and are not limited to the lungs and respiratory system. In some cases, breathing issues stem specifically from nasal and sinus-related problems.
In this blog, the Dallas/Fort Worth sinus specialists at DFW Sinus Select will explain the relationship between the sinuses and breathing difficulty and address some ways that you can find relief.
What nasal and sinus problems may lead to breathing difficulty?
Breathing difficulty can be caused by numerous factors, including sinus and nasal conditions that lead to restricted, congested or inflamed nasal passages.
Sinus and nasal problems that cause breathing issues may include:
- Chronic sinusitis, which can cause nasal congestion and post-nasal drip
- Deviated septum
- Nasal polyps
- Enlarged nasal turbinates (turbinate hypertrophy)
- Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
Simply put, any sinus or nasal problem that leads to potential nasal obstruction, either due to a physical, structural issue (such as a deviated septum, nasal polyps or turbinate hypertrophy) or due to an inflammatory sinus condition (such as sinusitis or allergic rhinitis) can be the source of breathing difficulty.
What symptoms may be associated with sinus and nasal-related breathing issues?
Breathing trouble caused by nose-related factors can also bring with it a host of other unpleasant symptoms, which may include:
- Nasal congestion
- Post-nasal drip
- Sinus pressure
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Reduced sense of smell or taste
- Heart palpitations
Along with breathing difficulty, all of these associated symptoms can significantly impact a person’s everyday activities, which is why proper medical evaluation is so critical.
How can I relieve problems related to my sinuses and breathing?
For athletes, proper oxygen exchange is essential for peak performance, as restricted airways will slow you down. But regardless of whether you’re an athlete or simply an active individual, breathing problems can stop you in your tracks. To determine whether your sinuses and breathing issues are related to one another, the first step is to have an experienced ENT assess you.
If you do, in fact, have a sinus or nasal condition that is restricting your airway, the good news is that there are a number of treatment options available that can correct the problem – including conservative therapies and minimally invasive procedures that deliver long-lasting results with little or no downtime. Once the underlying source of your breathing issue has been determined, your ENT will be able to recommend an appropriate treatment option for your needs.
For some patients, this may involve correcting a deviated septum with a surgery called a septoplasty. For patients suffering from chronic sinusitis, a minimally invasive procedure to open up blocked sinus passages (called a Balloon Sinuplasty) may be recommended. If turbinate hypertrophy or nasal polyps are to blame, procedures that shrink or remove the problem areas called turbinate reduction or polypectomy, respectively, may be recommended. Lastly, if allergies are the primary culprit behind your sinus and breathing issues, allergen immunotherapy may be considered.
How can I start breathing better today?
Regardless of what’s causing your breathing problems, DFW Sinus Select is here to help. Our practice offers numerous office locations so that you can access top-notch care close to home. Schedule your consultation today by filling out the appointment form right on this page or by contacting one of our offices directly. We look forward to helping you breathe better and live better, free from sinus and nasal problems!