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I have been struggling with nasal problems for years. Every single day, I feel extremely congested, especially, in my right nostril. I have already had 2 surgeries to reduce the size of my right inferior turbinate. I am still experiencing great difficulty breathing, and I frequently feel painful pressure in my right nostril. The pain is so bad that it causes me to miss work.
I believe that my difficulty breathing is caused by an enlarged right inferior turbinate and that the pressure and pain is caused by an enlarged right middle turbinate. It is very frustrating because when I go to doctors, they say that my nose looks fine and that my turbinates don't appear enlarged. I belive that my turbinates are primarily swelling up at night and perhaps because blood is rushing to my head when I lie down. This makes it very difficult to prove to a doctor after being vertical all day.
I have tried many OTC medications to try to treat this issue, and the only thing that had any noticable impact was Afrin, which I do not want to use because it causes rebound congestion and can cause septum perforations. I stopped using Afrin in April. The fact that it provided temporary (intense) relief supports the theory that my problems are caused my enlarged turbinates because Afrin shrinks the blood vessels in the turbinates and shrinks the turbinates themselves. My understanding is that rebound congestion from Afrin should not last very long so I don't think that I my nose should still be rebounding from Afrin after not using it for 3 months.
I do not believe that this is an allergey issue because I bought an air purifier, thoroughly cleaned my house, and used Flonase for multiple weeks. None of this has any noticable impact on my nasal problems whatsoever.
What's very odd about my issue is that it changes throughout the day. I researched the "nasal cycle" which states that your nose alternates blood flow form the left to the right turbinates throughout the day. Most people should not notice this, but I definitely do. When the right turbinates are big, I have the issues with extreme congestion and pain on the right side. When the turbinates on the left side get big, it restricts breathing a bit, but is not so bad. When the left turbinates are swollen, I can breathe well on the right side.
I am somewhat at my wit's end trying to figure out what to do because doctors keep reassuring me that my turbinates look fine when I talked to them in person. It has been difficult to coordinate an appointment when my right turbinates are big during their nasal cycle. So, I bought an endoscope on to see exactly what's going on in there. I'm thinking if I show the following attached 2 pictures to a doctor, that will prove to them that my turbinates do in fact have a problem. I took these pictures when my right side felt swollen, big, painful, and my breathing felt obstruced.
The first picture is of my inferior turbinate.It looks like one large pink mass against another large pink mass with a thin line between the two (less than 1mm wide). My inferior turbinate is on the left of this picture and my septum is on the right of this picture.
The second picture is of my middle turbinate. The circular mass in the middle is my middle turbinate. My septum is on the right of this picture. The middle turbinate is actually touching my septum. I took another picture of the middle turbinate an hour later where I felt that I could breathe better, and I noticed that the middle turbinate was no longer touching the septum.
Do my middle turbinate and inferior turbinate look enlarged? Is it normal for the middle turbinate to touch the septum?
I'm a bit afraid of showing these pictures to a doctor because they might be unhappy that I put an endoscope in my nose and tried to diagnose myself, but I have been to 6-7 ENT's regarding this issue and had 2 surgeries already over the past 4 years, and I still cannot breathe correctly.
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