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How to stop your nose from whistling

Updated April 17, 2017

A nose that whistles every time you take a breath can be irritating to you, your friends and loved ones. The relentless, grating, high-pitched sound drives many nose-whistlers, or those around them, to seek a solution. In most cases, nose-whistling is a symptom of a larger problem, usually a nasal septum perforation, a hole in the cartilage between the two nostrils. Diagnosing and treating this condition is the best way to stop your nose from whistling.

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  1. Determine what might have caused the nasal septum perforation. This will help your doctor to treat the condition. Nasal septum perforation has many possible causes, including exposure to industrial chemicals, a history of cocaine abuse, surgery or trauma to the nasal septum, infectious diseases such as syphilis or rare nasal conditions such as Wegner's granulomatosis, or even habits like nose-picking.

  2. Consult your doctor to determine whether you have a nasal septum perforation and determine any underlying conditions. Your doctor can examine your septum to locate the perforation and determine its severity. She also can run tests to determine the cause of the perforation and begin treatmentt.

  3. Address any underlying causes. If caused by a simple habit such as nose-picking, eliminating the habit is one step towards treatment that will help to stop the nose from whistling. Treatment for Wegner's granulomatosis involves a regimen of corticosteroids. Proper treatment for infectious diseases such as syphilis or tuberculosis will help treat the disease and alleviate the symptoms.

  4. Use a saline spray or gel to help alleviate the symptoms of the perforation. You can buy some sprays over the counter, or your doctor may prescribe one. The spray or gel alleviates symptoms by maintaining moisture in the nasal passages to prevent dryness, crusting and irritation of the passages.

  5. Use a nasal emollient if your symptoms continue. Talk to your doctor to request a prescription. The emollient will help reduce nasal congestion and inflammation that constricts airflow in the nasal passages, so it may alleviate nose-whistling.

  6. Undergo surgery to correct the perforation. You doctor may recommend surgery when the perforation does not heal on its own or the symptoms do not respond to other treatment. Once the doctor repairs the perforation, the whistling will stop. Small perforations are the easiest to repair surgically. Large perforations may never heal on their own and are difficult to repair.

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About the Author

Michelle Labbe

Michelle Labbe has been writing online and for print since 2004. Her work has appeared in the online journals Reflection's Edge and Cabinet des Fées as well as in Harvard Book Store's anthology, "Michrochondria." She is pursuing a Master of Arts in publishing and writing at Emerson College.

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