ZocdocAnswersCould a broken nose affect sleep and fitness?

Question

Could a broken nose affect sleep and fitness?

I've recently found out I've had a broken nose for what could be my whole life. My question is whether this could be a cause behind me being a very light sleeper, tired all the time and unable to get past a level of fitness which to others requires very little effort. One side of my nose is constanly totally blocked (switches sides) I've been told this is because of the small passage one one side being blocked quicker and the other side swelling due to the space avaliable

Answer

Thanks for your question. I recommend that you discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Nasal trauma can certainly affect breathing, which can then lead to problems with sleep and exacerbate existing problems with breathing at other times as well. While it is hard for me to attribute all of your problems to a remote nasal trauma, there is definitely the possibility that the history of a broken nose could be making things worse. Your comments about being tired all the time also make me worry about other sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, which can be quite common and lead to poor sleep and make people feel tired all the time in some of the same ways that you describe. It would be important to discuss these symptoms with your doctor to see if further testing, such as a sleep study, is indicated to determine what your true problem is. As for the intermittent and changing obstruction of your nose, what you seem to be describing is the nasal cycle, which all of us have to some degree when our nose with swell and then shrink, one side at a time. If there is a narrow nasal airway, this can cause more symptoms. Again, please speak with your doctor about your concerns, as they could be symptoms of bigger problems.

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