If your nasal congestion turns you into a mouth breather, you probably have a nasal obstruction problem.
Difficulty breathing through your nose is commonly caused by some form of nasal obstruction. People who suffer with a nasal obstruction may find they are forced to breathe through their mouth – unpleasant and unhealthy. Also, symptoms of nasal obstruction may get worse at night and cause less restful sleep.
A common cause of nasal obstruction is a deviation in the septum.
The septum is the cartilage in the nose that separates your nasal passages into the right and left sides. It normally is centered in your nasal passage and divides the nostrils evenly. However, sometimes, the septum is uneven from birth or displaced by injury or disease.
A deviated septum can cause health complications.
An uneven septum is very common. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, 80 percent of all people have some degree of deviation in their septum.1 Although many people experience only minor problems, if the deviation is severe, it can block one side of your nose, reduce airflow, and cause a number of possible symptoms:
- difficulty breathing, especially through the nose
- having one side of the nose that’s easier to breathe through
- nasal congestion or pressure
- sinus infections
- facial pain
- dryness in one nostril
- snoring or loud breathing during sleep
- sleep apnea