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Nasal Valve Collapse: A Common Cause of Nasal Problems


Date: 25 May 2023

Common Causes of Problematic Nasal Breathing

What could be causing your nose to feel blocked and make it difficult to breathe.

Have you noticed that when you have a nasal problem, it affects your ear and throat? The ear, nose and throat are all connected and they function like one unit. That also means that a problem in one part affects the rest quite quickly. An infection in any one part quickly spreads to be an ear nose and throat infection since each is closely connected.

There are a few common conditions that can cause difficulty in breathing through the nose, that we shall explore. 


A common example that many people at some point must have experienced is an ear, throat and sinus infection.In fact, when it gets too bad your whole face can hurt. An ear, throat and sinus infection causes the tissues in your sinuses to flare up. Sinuses are spaces in the facial region that are normally filled with air. The infection agitates the tissues, that then swell up and fill with mucous that can cause fulness over the face and nasal congestion. It feels difficult to breathe when you have an ear, throat and sinus infection.

Nose/ sinus injury

A physical injury that has broken the nose and caused an obstruction in the nasal passage can make it very difficult to breathe in some cases.

Deviated septum

When the nasal septum or the cartilage and bone that divides the nasal cavity is displaced, it can make it difficult to breathe. This occurs during childhood and is a defect that can be corrected. To a fair extent, displacement can be left untreated. Some common symptoms of a deviated septum, nasal blockage, snoring, repetitive sneezing, mouth breathing and repeated sinus infections.

Nasal valve collapse

When the nasal valve, the narrow airway from the nasal alae to the distal part of the vestibule of the nose, weakens, it can collapse and cause difficulty breathing. It is one of the most common forms of nasal obstruction and can be treated effectively through surgery. The nasal valve is designed to control the amount of air that is taken in through the nasal passage. But too much resistance can cause a collapse of the structure.

Internal nasal valve collapse occurs in the upper portion of the cartilage in the nose and is more common with a person already having a deviated septum. An external valve collapse is more obvious, occurring at the rim of the nose, with one or both nostrils having fallen in. 

You will have difficulty breathing and nosebleeds. It can occur due to injury, or already existing deviated septum, or rhinoplasty i.e., plastic surgery to the nose.


Sinusitis and any other ear nose throat infection are usually treated with rest and medication with steam inhalation helpful too. Similarly, nose-throat infections also need antibiotics and steam inhalation that can open up congestion. 

A deviated septum may be treated by surgery called septoplasty which removes excess bone or cartilage and restores the nasal septum. This is a surgery done under general anesthesia. Nasal valve collapse may also require surgery to repair the collapsed nasal septum and use an implant to hold the nasal valve in place.

If you find that you may have obstructed or congested breathing that you need help with you can connect to one of the following facilities we have. The Park Group of Hospitals has specialty services for ENT and has the benefit of the best ENT departments you can find in the Delhi area. Feel free to make an appointment with the best ENT services closest to you:

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