I got my nasal dilator things. And they’re great. I can actually breathe through my nose now. More in the left than the right, but I have a deviated septum so this is probably as good as it gets. It takes a little fiddling to get them to work but once they work it’s great. They smell a bit but I think I should get used to that.
So the middle of my face is very narrow. So narrow that parts of it have been considered pathological since childhood. (What that says about the medical profession, I’ll leave out for now.) Narrower, by far, than absolutely anyone in my family that I’ve ever seen.
The easiest way to spot that is to look at my nostrils, as in the picture above. Other kids used to tell me they looked like an electrical outlet — and I was always the only kid with this kind of nose, so there’s plenty of self-loathing there, making me almost not post this photo. My mouth is also extremely narrow, both inside and outside. That part of my face used to be even narrower, but my high/narrow palate (which my dentist constantly ranted about) was artificially spread apart when I was a kid before the bones sealed. That also had a slight effect on the appearance of that part of my face.
Anyway what amazes me is that in 15 childhood years or so of medical people being way too interested in various ways in the narrowness of my mid-face as a kid, none of them bothered to connect my narrow nostrils with the difficulty breathing through my nose that often makes me, to their eternal annoyance, a mouth breather.
I mean some of it has always been allergies. But some of it is that when I inhale, my nostrils fall in on themselves. If I spread them apart (by pulling outward on my face near my nose), suddenly it feels like the difference between breathing against heavy resistance and breathing easily.
I’ve found out there are tons of products to artificially widen narrow nostrils. They’re mostly geared at snoring. I am not really interested in that aspect, since my snoring doesn’t seem affected by widening my nostrils (I’ve felt myself snore often enough I can replicate it while awake), and my bipap prevents it anyway. But. I’m very interested in breathing.
So I’ve ordered a box of these things that are like little silicone rings you stick inside your nose, and they widen your nostrils from the inside. I greatly prefer that to trying to stick a piece of tape across the outside of my nose. They’re quite cheap on Amazon. They had no way to measure sizes so I had to guess. And I’ll report back what I find after wearing them. I really hope they work because being able to breathe easily through my nose would be a serious novelty.
This is the product I’m trying. I’d strongly recommend buying on Amazon because they’re way cheaper there.
[Photo of Fey, my cat, from a funny angle. She’s a grey and white cat, with a white stripe on her nose and a white chin. Her nose is the biggest thing in the picture. You can see a little bit down to her chin beneath it. Then you can see straight back to her yellow-green eye behind her nose.]