What does it mean if your left nostril is blocked? (2023)

Have you ever experienced difficulty breathing through one of your nostrils? Perhaps you’ve noticed that your left nostril seems to be blocked. This can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience, but the good news is that it’s usually not a serious medical condition. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of a blocked left nostril and what you can do to alleviate this pesky problem.

Common Causes of Left Nostril Blockage

There are several possible causes of a blocked left nostril. One of the most common is a nasal obstruction caused by a deviated septum. The nasal septum is the thin piece of cartilage that separates your two nasal passages. In many people, this septum is off-center, which can cause one nasal passage to be smaller than the other. When a deviated septum is severe, it can block one side of the nose and make it difficult to breathe through that nostril.

Another common cause of a blocked left nostril is allergies. Allergies occur when your body’s immune system overreacts to a substance in your environment, such as pollen, pet dander, or dust. When this happens, your nasal passages can become inflamed and produce excess mucus, which can cause difficulty breathing through your nose.

A sinus infection can also cause a blocked left nostril. When your sinuses become infected, they can become swollen and inflamed, which can cause a partial or complete blockage of your nasal passages. Sinus infections are typically caused by viruses or bacteria and can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as facial pressure, headache, and nasal congestion.

Finally, a blocked left nostril can be caused by a physical obstruction, such as a foreign object in your nostril or a nasal polyp. Nasal polyps are growths that develop in your nasal passages and can cause a partial or complete blockage. They are typically noncancerous and can be treated with medication or surgery.

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Treatment Options

The treatment for a blocked left nostril will depend on the cause of your symptoms. If your symptoms are caused by a deviated septum, you may need surgery to correct the problem. This procedure is called a septoplasty and involves realigning the septum to make both nasal passages more equal in size.

If your symptoms are caused by allergies, you may be able to alleviate your symptoms with over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines or decongestants. If your symptoms are severe or you have other allergies, your doctor may recommend allergy shots or prescription medications.

For a sinus infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to help clear up the infection. In addition, you can use over-the-counter decongestants or saline nasal sprays to help alleviate your symptoms.

If your symptoms are caused by a physical obstruction, such as a foreign object or nasal polyp, your doctor may need to remove the obstruction through surgery.


While some cases of a blocked left nostril are unavoidable, there are some things you can do to minimize your risk of developing this problem. To prevent a deviated septum, you should avoid activities that can cause trauma to your nose, such as contact sports or physical altercations.

(Video) LATERA Animation for Patients with Nasal Congestion

To limit the risk of allergies, you can avoid exposure to common allergens, such as pollen or pet dander. Additionally, you can take steps to limit your exposure to indoor allergens, such as dust or mold.

To reduce your risk of developing a sinus infection, it’s important to practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.


If you’re experiencing a blocked left nostril, there’s no need to panic. In most cases, this problem is minor and can be treated with medication or surgery. However, if your symptoms persist or are accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever or coughing, you should contact your doctor. By taking steps to prevent this problem and seeking prompt medical treatment when necessary, you can help ensure that your nose stays clear and your breathing stays easy.


Is it normal to have one nostril blocked?

It is quite common for people to complain of having a blocked nose on one side. One of the primary reasons behind this phenomenon is nasal obstruction, which can be caused by a wide range of factors. If a person is suffering from an acute cold or sinus infection, then it is quite likely that one nostril will be more congested than the other. This is because the immune response causes increased blood flow to that nostril, leading to swelling of the nasal membranes and increased mucus production. In such cases, people often find that as the cold or sinus infection subsides, the nostril that was blocked switches sides, as different parts of the nasal cavity become inflamed.

Allergies are another common cause of nasal obstruction, and the pattern of one-sided congestion is quite typical in allergic rhinitis. In this type of allergy, the body has an immune response to airborne allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander. The immune cells release histamine and other pro-inflammatory substances, leading to swelling of the nasal membranes and mucus production. This can affect one nostril more than the other, and the frequency of the blocked nostril can switch sides, depending on which side of the nose is exposed to more allergens.

(Video) Why Can't I Breathe Out of One Side of My Nose?

However, a deviated septum or other physical obstructions can also cause one-sided nasal obstruction. The septum is a thin wall that divides the nasal cavity into two halves, and if it is crooked or deviated, it can restrict airflow on one side. Other factors, such as nasal polyps or enlarged adenoids, can also cause blockages that affect one nostril more than the other. In such cases, the blocked nostril will usually remain on the same side, and the frequency of the obstruction will depend on the severity of the underlying condition.

Having one nostril blocked is quite common, and the causes can range from allergies to anatomic obstructions to infections. If the condition persists or is accompanied by other symptoms such as headaches, ear pain, or difficulty breathing, it is essential to seek medical advice.

How long does a blocked nostril last?

A blocked or stuffy nostril is a common problem that can cause discomfort and difficulty in breathing. The duration of a blocked nostril can vary depending on the cause of the congestion. In many cases, the congestion typically goes away by itself within a week. This timeframe can differ depending on the underlying cause of the blockage.

Nasal congestion can be caused by a variety of factors including allergies, infections like the common cold or flu, sinus infections, and nasal polyps. If the congestion is due to an allergy, then it may worsen when a person is exposed to the allergen. In other cases, a blocked nostril can occur due to the overuse of nasal sprays or drops. If these are used for more than three days in a row, they can cause rebound congestion, which can make the nasal stuffiness worse.

If the congestion is due to a viral infection such as a cold, then it can last for up to two weeks. If it’s a bacterial infection such as sinusitis, then antibiotics may be necessary to clear the infection and relieve the congestion. In some cases, a blocked nostril may be caused by an underlying condition such as nasal polyps or a deviated septum. These conditions may require medical intervention such as surgery to correct the problem.

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The duration of a blocked nostril can vary depending on the underlying cause. If the congestion is caused by a viral infection, then it will typically clear up on its own within a week or two. However, if the congestion is caused by an allergy, bacterial infection, or an underlying condition, then medical intervention may be necessary to clear the congestion and improve breathing.

What makes a stuffy nose go away fast?

A stuffy or congested nose is a common problem that can make breathing difficult and cause discomfort. Fortunately, there are many ways to address this issue and get relief quickly. One of the most effective and natural methods is steam therapy.

Steam therapy involves inhaling steam to thin mucus and unclog your nasal passages. This can help your body to get rid of irritants or allergens that might be causing your congestion. There are various ways to use steam therapy, such as taking a hot shower or using a humidifier. However, the most effective method is to use a bowl of boiling water.

To use this method, simply pour boiling water into a large bowl and wait for a few minutes for the temperature to drop slightly. Then, cover your head with a towel and lean over the bowl. Take deep breaths in and out through your nose for about 10 minutes. Repeat this process three to four times a day until you feel better.

In addition to steam therapy, there are other remedies you can try to alleviate your stuffy nose. Drinking plenty of fluids can help to thin mucus and make it easier to breathe. You can also use a saline nasal spray or a nasal irrigator to clear out your nasal passages.

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Over-the-counter decongestants are also an option, although you should use them with caution as they can have side effects. Consult your doctor before using any medication and make sure to follow the instructions carefully.

A stuffy nose can be an uncomfortable and annoying problem. However, there are many ways to address it and get relief quickly. Steam therapy is one of the most effective and natural methods you can try, but there are also many other remedies available. If your congestion persists or gets worse, consult your doctor for further advice.


What does it mean if your left nostril is blocked? ›

In many people, the nasal septum is off-center — or deviated — making one nasal passage smaller. When a deviated septum is severe, it can block one side of the nose and reduce airflow, causing difficulty breathing.

What does it mean if only my left nostril is blocked? ›

When we have a cold, the blood vessels in the nose dilate as part of the body's immune response, and the nose also produces more mucus. Both of these changes cause congestion, but you'll feel more blocked in the nostril that's currently 'off duty'. The nostril with the full airflow might feel fine.

How do you unblock your left nostril? ›

How can I get rid of a blocked nose?
  1. Be gentle when you blow your nose. ...
  2. Aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. ...
  3. Hold a warm flannel to your cheeks. ...
  4. Dial-up the humidity. ...
  5. Try a nasal rinse with warm salty water. ...
  6. Use menthol ointment or oil. ...
  7. Ask a pharmacist about treatment options.
Feb 8, 2022

Is it normal to have one blocked nostril? ›

It is quite common for people to complain of having a blocked nose on one side. If this is caused by an infection or allergies, then it is quite common for the blocked nostril to switch sides. If caused by a deviated septum or obstruction, then the same nostril will always be affected.

Why is one nostril half blocked? ›

You may be born with a septum that is bent (deviated) to one side or an injury may move it out of position. A deviated septum does not always cause problems. However, if the septum is severely bent, this can block one side of the nose and reduce airflow. You may find it harder to breathe through one nostril.

Why is one nostril blocked at night? ›

Many factors can cause a blocked nose at night, including allergies; sinusitis; dry and dusty air; physical obstruction; pregnancy; viral infection; posture, and heartburn/acid reflux. Treatments that can help unblock the nose at night include using a nasal spray and drinking lots of water.

Why is one nose blocked but not the other? ›

The turbinates also go through a process which is known as the nasal cycle. This cycle is where one turbinate increases in size whilst the other decreases and then they swap over. This accounts for why people notice that they have a blocked nose on one side which then swaps to the other side.

How long does a blocked nostril last? ›

The congestion typically goes away by itself within a week. Congestion also can be caused by: Hay fever or other allergies. Use of some nasal sprays or drops bought without a prescription for more than 3 days (may make nasal stuffiness worse)

What makes a stuffy nose go away fast? ›

Whether it's from a hot shower or piping hot cup of tea, steam can thin mucus and help it drain from your nose. For faster relief, pour boiling water into a large bowl. Cover your head with a towel, lean over the bowl, and breathe in the steam. You can do this three to four times a day.

How do you sleep with a blocked nose? ›

The best position to sleep with a stuffy nose is typically on your back with your head slightly elevated13. A blocked nose at night often feels worse as your body position causes more blood to flow to your nose, increasing the swelling14.

What causes blocked nose? ›

Anything that irritates the inside of the nose can cause a stuffy nose. Infections — such as colds, flu or sinusitis — and allergies often cause stuffy and runny noses. Irritants in the air, such as tobacco smoke, perfume, dust and car exhaust, also can cause these symptoms.

Does blowing nose make congestion worse? ›

Blowing the nose can worsen the feeling of congestion due to pressure build-up within the nostrils, which may shoot up the mucus into the sinuses instead of ejection through the nose.

Is it normal to wake up with one nostril congested? ›

People also experience stuffiness in the nostril that faces down when they sleep on their side. Deviated septum. If you have blockage that is continuous, it could be a result of a deviated septum. Inflammation and nasal polyps.

Does blowing your nose help? ›

Both the swelling and extra mucus lead to nasal congestion. This is when the narrowed passages increase the effort of breathing through the nose. Clearing the mucus by blowing the nose should reduce this congestion somewhat. At the beginning of colds and for most of the time with hay fever, there's lots of runny mucus.

What are the 5 stages of a cold? ›

The stages of a cold include the incubation period, appearance of symptoms, remission, and recovery.

How do doctors drain sinuses? ›

Balloon sinuplasty allows the surgeon to dilate a blocked sinus, creating open space, which allows the sinus to drain normally. The surgeon uses a flexible endoscope with a light to guide the insertion of a thin wire. The wire is then moved through the nasal passages toward the opening of the blocked sinus.

What unblocks your nose overnight? ›

Try Steam or a Humidifier

Before going to sleep, consider taking a warm, steamy shower. Steam can thin mucus in the nasal passages to help it drain.

How long does a blocked nose take? ›

Nasal congestion typically clears after a few days, but congestion that lasts for a week or more may be a sign of an infection. Left untreated, nasal congestion may cause sinusitis, nasal polyps or middle ear infections.

Why is blocked nose worse at night? ›

Nasal congestion can worsen when you lie down. Lying down increases the blood flow to your head. The excess blood flow can cause the blood vessels in your nasal passage to swell. When the blood vessels in your nose become inflamed, your nose feels stuffy.

Should I be worried about blocked nose? ›

You may experience nasal congestion due to a viral illness like the flu. But if it lasts longer, it may indicate an underlying health condition, such as allergies or enlarged adenoids. Nasal congestion, also called a stuffy nose, is often a symptom of another health problem such as a sinus infection.

What kills a sinus infection naturally? ›

Home Remedies for Sinus Infections
  • Saline Spray and Sinus Rinses. Using a saline solution, rinse your nose and sinuses with a neti pot or other irrigation system. ...
  • Over the Counter Medications. ...
  • Vapor Rub. ...
  • Take Your Vitamins. ...
  • Steam It Out. ...
  • Stay Hydrated. ...
  • Do These Things Work for Kids?

What is the pressure point to unblock your nose? ›

Acupresssure Point LI 20: Located at the base of your nose, this pressure point can help relieve sinus pressure. Acupresssure Point SI18: Located where your cheekbones meet your nose, this pressure point can relieve sinus congestion.

Why won't my sinuses drain out my nose? ›

Infections in your respiratory tract — most commonly colds — can inflame and thicken your sinus membranes and block mucus drainage. These infections can be caused by viruses or bacteria. Allergies such as hay fever. Inflammation that occurs with allergies can block your sinuses.

How do you lay to make your sinuses drain? ›

The best sleeping position for sinus drainage problems and other sinus issues is to sleep with your head propped up. Sleeping with your head propped up will help gravity naturally drain your sinuses and reduce the chance of excessive blood flow that can develop sinus congestion.


1. How to get rid of a blocked nose - The Instant Method
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2. ek naak band? One Side Nose Problem? Single Nostril blocked? Dr.Education (Hindi)
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5. What does one sided watery discharge from nose mean? - Dr. Sreenivasa Murthy T M
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