Can you force open a nostril?


We have all had colds where it seems one nostril is closed while the other is open. Is there a reason why we can’t force them both open? I have heard that the body switches back and forth to rest parts of the nose, but would that even be an issue if we put some kind of tube in place?

In: 9

it’s mechanically possible, yes. nostrils can become so inflamed or sinuses so clogged that there are tools and techniques to pry them open.

you generally don’t want to do that for a number of reasons. everything in there is very sensitive. the physical damage and risk of infection makes it not worth the benefit of…being a bit less miserable with a cold.

> would that even be an issue if we put some kind of tube in place?

that would be a “stent”, they have certain universal problems, the human body doesn’t like stuff shoved in it. but for your sinuses, specifically, it would eliminate the whole reason you want to breathe through your nose. it feels better because all the stuff in your sinuses is there to condition the air you breathe. if you stick a tube up there to bypass all of it, you may as well be breathing through your mouth.

Surgery can do this. Now I can get a sinus infection and head cold, and still be able to breathe through my nose. Just need to remove enough tissue in there.

Oral decongestants such as pseudoephedrine and nasal sprays work well for relief of mild/moderate congestion by causing vasoconstriction (shrink the blood vessels). There are many blood vessels in the nasal passages that swell when we have a cold or allergies causing acute congestion.

Such drugs are only advised for short term use due to, amongst other things, increasing blood pressure and dependence/rebound effect.

“Of course this isn’t medical advice and always follow the directions with medication.”

Anatomical abnormalities or injury, such as a deviated septum, can be a cause for chronic or recurrent congestion. In those cases surgery might help.

Increasing your heart rate will cause them to open. So stand up and walk around if its getting annoying. Doesn’t help you if you’re trying to sleep, but that’s when I use decongestants