A man taking smelling the air

Nasal Valve Abnormalities

The nasal valve is another part of the nose that can block the nose. It is the skin and cartilage on the side of the nose, the nostril part. If the nasal valve is abnormal, when the person sniffs in really hard, the nostril caves in. This is visible.

A person who has a blocked nasal valve will pull the cheek skin out to the side to open the nostril and breathe. When they let go of the skin, the nose collapses. A blocked valve can affect one or both sides of the nose. When this is abnormal, this is thought to be caused by weak or weakened cartilage and/or thinned out skin. The thinning out and/or weakening is usually due to age, trauma, or previous surgery on the nose.

The treatment for a blocked nasal valve is either non-surgical or surgical. Non-surgical treatment is by using Breathe Rite® strips. This is spring-loaded tape placed on the outside of your nose to reverse the collapsing. Football players often wear them. You can buy these at a pharmacy or grocery store. The strips only work when you place them on. Long-term use of the strips work, but this become expensive and the adhesive irritates the skin after prolonged use.

Nasal valve repair is an effective treatment for this condition. The procedure is designed to improve the supporting structures of the nose to stop the collapsing of the nostril. The correction is surgical and is usually permanent.