I have suffered throughout my life with serious breathing issues in my nose. As I have gotten older, the problems have increased to the point that breathing through my left nostril usually requires pulling the skin on my face to open the passage up. My right nostril isn’t much better.
There are three reasons for this, according to my ear/nose/throat doctor/surgeon. They are:
- As a child playing Little League baseball I went down to field a hard low line drive, but the ball hit a mostly buried beer bottle and bounced directly up into my face, shattering my nose and knocking me unconscious. I woke up in the hospital. Apparently the long-term consequence of this poor fielding experience is a 100% deviated septum. In other words, the septum is completely canted over into my left nostril, accounting for most of the problems I have breathing through that orifice.
- The nasal passages have a lot of tissue inside them. The purpose of most of that tissue is to moisturize the air as you breathe in, catch particulates, viruses and bacteria before they get into your lungs, and to help capture some of the warmth of your breath as you breathe out. Apparently my nose has run rampant with some of those tissues, and they have become too big, which blocks off the airflow and actually reduces their effectiveness as filters.
- My nose appears to be the world’s most popular haven for nasal polyps. My surgeon described my polyp situation as “11 out of 10″. Nasal polyps are mostly benign (but I will be getting biopsies on them just in case) but they can swell and shut off air flow, and at the very least they are like mucous sponges that lead to a never ending nasal drip that seems to be contributing to swallowing issues.
Anyway, while techniques have improved greatly over the past several decades since my doctors first recommended major nasal surgery, it is still true that such surgery is operating in dangerous proximity to the brain. Infections from this sort of surgery have proven to be fatal. So there is some measurable risk here.
But still, I have become desperate enough to schedule the surgery, and have begun taking the medicine needed to prep for the surgery. Wish me luck.