My New Nose

Last year, on Valentine’s Day, I had my septoplasty. I had a deviated septum, which veered to the left; my deaf side. For as long as I could remember, I had been unable to breathe through my left nostril – something I hadn’t paid much regard to until my hearing loss and the onset of the associated feeling of pressure in my ears and head.

The pressure is often the most difficult symptom to manage. It is more prominent than my tinnitus. It is ever-present, unlike my sound sensitivity for which the degree of severity is dependent on environmental sounds. With more pressure in my ears comes more dizziness. I would try almost anything to help relieve some of this discomfort as it is extremely hard to disconnect from.

Following a consultation with a particular specialist, in which he stated with confidence that the reason for the feeling of pressure in my ears was because I couldn’t breathe properly, I had elected to have the septoplasty operation. Not all specialists had given me this opinion, and so I tried not to get my hopes up regarding an improvement in my ear discomfort. The straightening of my nasal septum would enable airflow through both nostrils which, at the very least, I hoped would help me sleep better. I also had a faint hope that it could result in a reduction in the feeling of pressure in my ears and head.

The outcome of the surgery wasn’t quite what I had hoped for. The operation had been a success in that my septum was now straight. However, although I was now able to breathe air ‘out’ of the left side, I was unable to inhale. Unfortunately, the nasal valve on the left side of my nose collapsed following the surgery. This meant that every time I tried to breathe air in, the weakened side of my left nostril caved into the nasal passage; blocking the airflow. If I wore a nasal dilator strip, which I opted for during the night, I was able to breathe through both nostrils. But, as soon as the strip was removed, my nasal valve collapsed again. And so, after my septoplasty, I was still unable to breathe naturally through my left nostril and for this reason, the operation also had no impact on my associated ear symptoms.

This year I was offered another procedure to help me breathe, and of course, I agreed to it. The surgery would involve reshaping my nose to correct my breathing problem. I still refused to give up hope for having the minimum comfort of being able to breathe properly. Moreover, I retained my guarded hope for some relief from the persistent ear pressure. 

I spent the weeks leading up to my surgery exploring how my new nose would feel. To simulate my anticipated, improved breathing function I would press my left index finger on a patch of skin next to the left side of my nose and pull the skin away from my nose gently; opening up my airways. The feeling of breathing through both nostrils was wonderful and the pressure around my nose was clearly reduced. I ignored the confused and sometimes disturbed looks passers-by would give me and I’d smile with delight at the thought of this extraordinarily oxygenated state could soon be my new ‘normal’.

I had the open rhinoplasty surgery six days ago and am recovering well. The operation experience was very similar to my septoplasty. I awoke from the anaesthesia with my nostrils full of packing. There was gauze taped under my nose to catch the blood that steadily drained for the next couple of days. The first two days were predictably the most difficult. I was in a significant amount of pain, and it was very uncomfortable trying to eat or drink anything with my nose blocked with dressings. When I returned to the hospital 2 days following the surgery, the specialist removed the nasal packing and I immediately felt a lot more comfortable and had some marvellous breaths of air through both nostrils. On leaving the hospital I felt quite lightheaded from all the air I was able to breathe.

Recovery will take time and patience. My nose is full of stitches and is very sore. My face is bruised and swollen and at present, I resemble an old bruised potato. My nose is currently congested due to swelling, and I am not allowed to blow it, so it feels like I have a very bad cold. But, I am hopeful for some more wonderful full breaths of fresh air. I am hopeful for better sleep. And, I am still holding on to my most cautious of hopes; for some reduction in the constant feeling of pressure.

…I also wonder what my new nose will look like.

Author: myhearinglossstory

Hi, My name is Carly. I am 37 years old and I am currently living in Spain. I am originally from a small seaside town in Yorkshire called Bridlington, and have also lived in China and Thailand. I am an Early Years primary school teacher, and have been teaching for more than 12 years. I love walking in the countryside, getting lost in Madrid, going out for breakfast, taking photos, listening to music, storytelling podcasts, baking, running, drinking wine, and eating spicy food. In August 2016, I experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear. I started this blog as a way to inform my friends and family about my progress, for anyone else who is going through a similar experience as me, or for anybody who is interested in learning about this type of hearing loss, and the way it can affect everyday life.

15 thoughts on “My New Nose”

  1. We are so delighted that things sound so hopeful and look forward to hearing about your new nose. Wishing you a very speedy recovery Carly – you are such an inspiration. With love and best wishes from us both xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the improved air flow will help you with the pressure you continue to feel. I’m sure your new nose will look great! Give yourself time to heal. It’s very frustrating when the people we look to for answers simply don’t have them. I know I was surprised when one of the ENT’s I have seen told me the pressure I had been feeling, a sense of ear “fullness” was not real in the physical sense. I was convinced i had some sore of ear or tube blockage and she informed me that was not the case and for me the feeling of fullness was my brain compensating for the loss of sound. When I was experiencing it I was convinced if someone had drilled into the side of my head and released the “pressure” I’d feel better. I’m so sorry your still dealing with it. My hope would be that people much smarter than myself can offer some relief to this feeling if there does not appear to be any physical way of treating it.

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    1. Hello Butch,
      How are you?
      Thank you for the comment.
      Yes, fingers crossed for some relief in the pressure, and also for a beautiful new nose! You are right, it is very frustrating when specialists can’t offer an exact diagnosis or explanation for symptoms.
      I hope you are doing well. Are you still gluten free?
      Best wishes
      Carly

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      1. Hi Carly,
        Yes, gluten free is a way of life for me. I’m very fortunate that if I stick to the gluten free diet the hearing in my “good” ear remains optimal. I also traveled to Phoenix a few weeks ago and got fitted with hearing aids. The technology is pretty awesome. I can listen to bluetooth, receive phone calls and even have them adjusted remotely by my audiologist. It’s an adjustment getting used to them and while I hope to never need to, if my hearing in my “good” right ear drops off again I’m now in a much better position to have that hearing aid adjusted to help. It is interesting how much sound I had not been hearing. I do hope your pleased with your new nose. There is a famous actress here (Jennifer Gray), she famously had her nose “fixed” and was arguably more attractive but her career suffered as no one recognized her with her new nose! I’m going to mention Dr. Fasano’s book Gluten Freedom again for anyone that may want to explore that issue and also my Audiologist Dr. Cliff Olson of Applied Hearing Solutions in anthem Arizona as he is a huge proponent of educating patients. I learned so much from his you tube video’s and was so impressed with his knowledge and enthusiasm on the topic that we traveled there for treatment. Best wishes for a speedy recovery and relief from that ear pressure.- Butch

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      2. Hi Butch,
        I am so glad that you have been able to identify gluten as a trigger for your hearing issues. It must be good to be able to take control of your symptoms – although I know how difficult a gluten-free diet can be sometimes, in particular when eating in restaurants.
        I am going to speak to the ENT about the possibility of a food allergy/intolerance test – not sure if the healthcare here will cover it, but it’s worth asking. I really feel there are things that affect my symptoms, but I am struggling to pin-point exactly what they are.
        It’s so great you have got hearing aids – they sound fantastic!
        Ah, the actress you mentioned is the girl from Dirty Dancing isn’t she? I remember reading about her 🙂 …It’s good I’m not famous then, haha!
        Thank you for including information about the gluten free book and the audiologist. I hope others will find help in your recommendations.
        Best of wishes,
        Carly

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  3. Hi Carly. Once again you’ve shown with your dedication to doing whatever it takes to get relief from your impairment. I know it must be terribly frustrating each time it doesn’t yield the results you want. I’m curious. Do you get any relief when you chew? Since chewing gum relieves pressure in airplane flights I just wondered.

    In any case, the breathing though the nose part looks to be a positive. Let’s hope it facilitates the pressure relief some. Keep the faith as always!

    Your pal, Al

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Al!
      How are you?
      Thank you for your comment. Yes, as I’m sure you’ve realized by now, I will try almost anything to help myself to feel more comfortable in everyday life.
      No, I don’t get relief from chewing gum unfortunately. My left ear feels like it is constantly blocked and needs to pop – but it never does pop! I think i have middle ear issues (eustacion tube) as well…
      Anyway, I am hopeful for some great big breaths of air very soon, and maybe some help with the pressure…we will see!
      Best of wishes
      Carly

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  4. Oh, to feel increased airflow must be amazing in itself! I hope it helps reduce the feeling of pressure. I used to feel like I needed to “pop” my ears all the time, but it lessened to a feeling of wet cotton in my ears. It’s still really annoying, more some days than others. The intense pressure was never there all the time, it would build up right before a vertigo attack and lessen a few days later. I no longer have the intense pressure even then.

    A new nose!!
    You must be so nervous and excited at the same time!!
    I can’t wait to hear all about it!
    (I’d love to see)

    Lots of love from the Old West in the US

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there Wendy 🙂
      Oh, I am so looking forward to breathing big beautiful breaths of air!!
      My left ear always feels blocked, and I am never able to pop it. I also sometimes have a feeling like a wet trickle of water in both ears, and sometimes the feeling of bubbles popping (with some pain) in my deaf ear. Have you had anything like this before Wendy?
      Yes, a new nose! Not that I was ever dissatisfied with my original nose! It’s funny because I used to have a small bump on the bridge of my nose, and (although it’s hard to tell because of the splint) it looks like they have got rid of the bump! My boyfriend thinks he’s getting a new girlfriend when the new nose is revealed!!…I’ll maybe consider posting photos – although I’m not a fan of the camera!
      Lots of love from Madrid ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A new girlfriend! I love it! My husband wouldn’t notice! Hahaha. But he comes by it honest, we saw his father on Sunday and he didn’t notice my haircut! Ha!!
    Yes! I always feel the wetness and sometimes it feels like it’s trickling out, it isn’t, but it feels like it. I do get the pops, but not often, much more when my allergies are worse. If I cry my ears feel like water is running in them. I can feel water in my right ear when I drink, and if I breathe in through my mouth I feel it in my ear. I was told I have a thinner membrane between in that ear, but that was by an ENT that I don’t trust. It’s just weird. But the wet feeling, the trickle feeling, I have it all the time, in both ears.
    (My right ear was the first one affected with Meniere’s, later the left joined)
    I look forward to seeing your photos!, you can’t disappoint me! You saw me!
    I was called out by friends, now you have been.
    Love from the Old West in the US

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear! I can’t believe someone wouldn’t notice your new haircut – it’s such a change and transformation!
      Thank you for explaining the water sensations you feel. It sounds like we have similar trickling feelings of water. It’s a very strange sensation isn’t it! I don’t have the feelings you described that you have when you cry..
      Hmm, I will think about the photos 😉
      I hope you’re having a good day Wendy.
      Love from Madrid ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am so pleased that you can breathe properly dear Carly. I do hope that your new nose is not like Pinocchio’s. lol. I am sure that the swelling will go soon and you will look your normal gorgeous self again. Love Ralph and Natascha xx

    Liked by 1 person

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