In some people the upper lateral cartilage is relatively weak and ends up becoming narrowed or pinched in this area. As a result, the airflow through the internal nasal valve inside the nose is restricted.
Internally, the effect on the internal nasal valve can be seen in this schematic simulation of right internal nasal valve narrowing:
Sometimes this narrowing of the internal nasal valve can only be diagnosed with a detailed nasal exam while in other patients there is a more visible “indentation” in the middle third of the nose- directly correlating to the area of the internal nasal valve.
Symptoms of Internal Valve Collapse:
Most patients with internal valve collapse describe their nose is just constantly not moving air optimally. Athletes can be particularly bothered by internal valve collapse, as they can perceive their nasal passages collapsing under the stresses of vigorous nasal respiration. Many, but not all, patients with internal nasal valve collapse will notice their breathing improve with the use of over the counter “Breathe Right™ “ nasal strips.
Aging weakens the nasal sidewalls and causes the sides of the nose to collapse in more easily. Also, previous nasal surgery or previous nasal trauma can weaken the upper lateral cartilages thus leading to internal nasal valve collapse. This are some scenarios that can be corrected with Nasal Valve Collapse Repair surgery.