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Collapsed nose cartilage

David2010-07-04 18:43:24 +0000 #1
For many years now, I have had difficulty breathing through my nose. When I would shine a flashlight up there, I could see what looked like swelling far back in the nostrils. This affects my quality of life quite a bit. Imagine not being able to breathe through your nose while practicing asana, meditating, or doing pranayama. My sense of smell is significantly reduced to the point that my partner will sometimes come over and say, "It stinks in here, you need to take your garbage out." To say that this has been a lesson in frustration would be an understatement. I'm often able to observe and accept, but there are definitely times I attach to the frustration.

Over time, I've been to three different ENTs. The first was, bless his heart, useless. The second diagnosed collapsed cartilage and wanted to put in titanium implants. The third who I saw about a month ago diagnosed, "An impressive amount of collapsed cartilage in both nostrils" but suggested using my own cartilage during a Rhinoplasty rather than implants. I've been seriously considering having the procedure.

A couple of weeks ago I was practicing asana and was on my stomach. The teacher told us to put our forehead on the ground and I observed that I positioned myself in a way that avoided my nose being compressed into the ground. I moved my head and realized I feared letting my nose be compressed. I did so anyway and the feeling was quite intense. This was a bit of a wakeup call for me. Since then, I've been laying on the ground with my nose compressed at least once a day to reestablish this relationship. I've always felt that there was a REASON for the cartilage being collapsed and this reinforces that thought. In addition, there are times that I can breathe a little through one or both nostrils which tells me something shifts slightly from time to time.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? My teacher has suggested that I hold emotion in my sinuses which I am exploring. In addition to the daily nose compression, I am trying to use/stretch every muscle in my face via various exercises. But what other avenues for healing might anyone suggest?

Thank you for any insight you might provide!


Techne2010-07-04 18:46:43 +0000 #2
I had reconstructive rhinoplasty using my own cartilidge. It helped a lot, and I believe my situation was less pronounced than yours is. In my case, the day to day difference in my ability to breathe nasally was due to soft tissue stuff (low intensity allergies) rather than movement of cartilidge -- but was certainly aggrivated by how little room there was within the left side of my face. In fact,

The surgery is quite invasive (as is the pain medication) and recovery takes time (during which you don't get to do much for fear of tearing stitches -- no lowering your head/nose below your heart). It could be worth it.

Given other parts of your situation it could also take you away from what you're doing to stay happy and healthy. You'll want to time this procedure for when you have other support (like sunshine and fresh air.)
Fortis_in_Arduis2010-07-04 19:18:03 +0000 #3
Quote:

Originally Posted by David



For many years now, I have had difficulty breathing through my nose. When I would shine a flashlight up there, I could see what looked like swelling far back in the nostrils. This affects my quality of life quite a bit. Imagine not being able to breathe through your nose while practicing asana, meditating, or doing pranayama. My sense of smell is significantly reduced to the point that my partner will sometimes come over and say, "It stinks in here, you need to take your garbage out." To say that this has been a lesson in frustration would be an understatement. I'm often able to observe and accept, but there are definitely times I attach to the frustration.

Over time, I've been to three different ENTs. The first was, bless his heart, useless. The second diagnosed collapsed cartilage and wanted to put in titanium implants. The third who I saw about a month ago diagnosed, "An impressive amount of collapsed cartilage in both nostrils" but suggested using my own cartilage during a Rhinoplasty rather than implants. I've been seriously considering having the procedure.

A couple of weeks ago I was practicing asana and was on my stomach. The teacher told us to put our forehead on the ground and I observed that I positioned myself in a way that avoided my nose being compressed into the ground. I moved my head and realized I feared letting my nose be compressed. I did so anyway and the feeling was quite intense. This was a bit of a wakeup call for me. Since then, I've been laying on the ground with my nose compressed at least once a day to reestablish this relationship. I've always felt that there was a REASON for the cartilage being collapsed and this reinforces that thought. In addition, there are times that I can breathe a little through one or both nostrils which tells me something shifts slightly from time to time.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? My teacher has suggested that I hold emotion in my sinuses which I am exploring. In addition to the daily nose compression, I am trying to use/stretch every muscle in my face via various exercises. But what other avenues for healing might anyone suggest?

Thank you for any insight you might provide!

Dear David,

I empathise to a certain extent.

I had rhinoplasty for cosmetic reasons, but the problem went beneath the surface. I too had a REASON.

My nose had clearly been damaged as a child, and one nostril was almost closed off at the top. The surgeon used cartilage grafts and did a magnificent job.

My nose was broken and reformed and five cartilage grafts were made to reconstruct it along stronger more open lines.

Recovery was brutal and extended and my nose was swollen for quite some time, but my breathing did improve as a result. I was not so plagued by nose colds throughout the year, and it looked more like my nose.

The change in the air flow through your nose is a natural phenomenon which occurs in cycles.

I can see why you would want to revisit nasal compression in order to make sense of the phobia.

I would suggest sending love and compassion to that area. It obviously has a special significance for you. You have discovered a block...

You might feel, as I felt, that rhinoplasty would put that right. It did improve things for me, overall, but something was also lost; when you have a scar, you have a scar, but that is all.

Do you relate to that?
David2010-07-04 19:33:29 +0000 #4
Thank you both for sharing your personal experiences and wisdom, it means a lot to me

Over the holidays I was out at my parent's house in California and my sister was there. My nose came up somehow and my sister asked if I had used the "breathe right" strips. I immediately became defensive and was like, "I have collapsed nose cartilage, how could THAT help?"

Luckily I was able to observe just how defensive I got. I thought to myself, "If I'm that resistant to the idea, I should try it" so I did. Those strips helped a TON! I was able to breathe through my nose while I slept and I just did a home asana practice wearing one. My god, it's amazing to be able to breathe through your nose while practicing yoga! I went to Costco and bought two cases of them, hahah.

While the strips are simply a way to deal with the symptom, I am now definitely going to forgo the surgery for awhile. I'm going to be VERY diligent about working with my nose in an effort to connect to the root issue. If I'm unable to, then I'll revisit the idea of rhinoplasty in a couple of years.

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