U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A member asked:

Is prolonged lack of airflow enough to atrophy a lung or create complications with air volume? i've had a deviated septum for a few years now. my left nostril barely gets any airflow. in the past couple of months, i've been feeling more and more discomfor

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Arden
Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 38 years experience
A : A deviated septum does not cause atalectasis (partial collapse of lung), nor should it hamper your ability to perform a full inspiration by mouth. I would initially recommend a chest x-ray (pa & lateral) and pulmonary function testing. Your primary care physician or internist can order this for you. I hope i'm interpreting the question properly in assuming your statement " i can't breath as deep...." is refering through your mouth and not your nose ( which could be attributable to the septal deviation).
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Richard Fleming
Facial Plastic Surgery 52 years experience
A : A deviated septum will not cause atrophy of your lung, even if your nose was totally obstructed because you would breathe through your mouth just to survive. You should have a consultation with an ENT specialist to evaluate your entire airway, that is your nose, and throat. A chest x-ray would be included in that evaluation.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Otto Placik
Surgery - Plastics 35 years experience
Nasal : Nasal airway obstruction does not effect lung volumes unless it is complete in association with oral airway obstruction or left bronchus obstruction. Having your septum repaired is unlikely to improve any pulmonary condition but may give you the sensation of improved nasal air flow. You should probably get a physical examination and chest x-ray. Although it is rare, spontaneous lung collapse is possible.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Oct 4, 2016

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.