The nose has many structures which filter and warm the air you breathe. If these areas are narrow, it is harder to breathe through your nose.
This narrowing can be caused by birth defects, trauma such as breaking the nose, allergies, or just differences in anatomies. A surgeon can evaluate the patient’s nasal airways for obstruction at the opening of the nose or inside the nose. Within the nose, bones such as the septum or a structure called the turbinate can deviate or enlarge and cause obstruction. Or the cartilage that supports the skin on the outside of the nose can be in an improper position, which can cause obstruction.
Surgery can be done to move, add or remove cartilage in specific areas of the nose to open these airways and improve breathing. Sometimes, this cartilage can be taken from the ear or rib and moved to the nose.