Empty Nose Syndrome

Several of us have the sensation that we have a build up of saliva in our sinus or cheek or somewhere near the Eagles site. For me, I squeeze the area of the cheek and seem to start gagging and drooling out saliva. In addition to this, I have always had trouble with a constant post nasal drip in the back of my throat and often a feeling that I cannot breathe completely into my lungs.
I have always had sinus problems and sometimes snorted to get this thick gel like mucous to go down my throat.
After surgery, I still have the dry drip at night when I lie down.
I have been having this on the left since I had sinus surgery to drain a cyst in 1992. I had the cyst drained and the doctor repaired a deviated septum without my knowledge. I do not fault him because the cyst was seriously large and he told us that it drained for a long time. Since then I have had a breathing issue on the left side especially when it is dry.That increases the dripping and post nasal drip because it causes inflammation of the tissues.
My next ENT told me that my sinus was too open and dry and not to use antihistamines and use nasal saline. I always want to try breathe strips to open my nose.
This morning, I found some strips and I can breathe into my lungs. I,then, googled “my nostril flops closed”. I found some information that may be interesting to some of us.
I found a condition also rare, " Empty Nose Syndrome" . It is usually a result of sinus surgery. What I found by reading several articles is that removing some of the turbinate tissue causes a loss of the tissue that is necessary to keep our nasal passages moist and protected. All this time, I assumed my problem came from exposure to 2nd hand smoking for 43 years. In fact, most of my problems including difficulty breathing. loss of smell and tear duct blockages came within months to 2 years of the sinus surgery. I also do not have the choking and drooling and post nasal drip very bad in humid weather, but in drier weather all this comes again.
A couple things mentioned in my reading was Trigeminal nerve function not working as well after the tissue is damaged and fifth cranial nerve involvement. Most of my pain from Eagles is gone, but I think those of us who had sinus surgery and have one sided nasal problems may want to read the articles. Not much has been done yet, but there is a bit of interest and some tests that some ENT’s can do. There is some work on injectables and other ways of improving the tissue. I even read that Platelet Rich Plasma may be an option. My reading indicated some doctors in CA, and OH. When I have more time I will try to post some information. There are some groups that are trying to support each other. So far, this morning , the breathe right strips gave me instant relief,but I cannot tolerate most adhesives for very long. So this is just for your information. If you suffer from this symptom and had a septoplasty or any sinus surgery.
This may not cause Eagles, but for some of us who have this excessive secretions and post nasal drip on one side, if you had sinus surgery this could have affected the trigeminal nerve and we have this symptom along with our Eagles Syndrome. Hope, this may help someone to have a possible AHA moment.
Yes, I am much better after both my external surgeries and years of suffering. It was not an easy choice to do surgery and it was a rough recovery for a few months, but I can now focus on the other things that need to be addressed. C spine, T spine L spine and getting air into my lungs again. Stay strong and keep the faith, I grew up in the days of learning to write research papers, and I loved it , but now I cannot do it so much. Side note: I would have failed if I had to type my papers because I could never type well,so apologies for all my typos. I often am in too much pain to edit, and I just hit the enter key.


reply deleted by emma

Thank you for this great information, Emma! You are ALWAYS a fountain of knowledge, & I appreciate that so much as you’ve helped so many people on this forum over the years.

It was interesting to read about ENS as I had turbinate reduction in Feb. alongside surgery for Meniere’s Disease. My nose has always been “too clear” so the opposite of what you suffer. The reason for the reduction is that over the last several years, my nose has begun whistling annoyingly when I breathe. The problem is left-sided & the turbinate reduction was meant to stop that. Sadly, it didn’t work so I continue to “whistle while I work” :rofl: I think it’s more annoying to me than others, but my son does comment on it somewhat regularly. Oh well…it was worth a try.

The other option I was given was to use steroidal nose drops for the rest of my life. I have taken waaaaay too much prednisone over the last several years trying to control my Meniere’s symptoms, so I felt adding yet another source was not an option for me thus I chose the surgery.

Our bodies are so complex & mysterious in many ways, & what works for one person doesn’t for another. I can imagine the practice of medicine is often very frustrating even for the most competent & experienced doctors because of this. It does help keep them “on their toes” though!

Never worry about your typos. What you write is fine. We all make mistakes in our posts. I often have to go back & edit mine several times after I submit a post & even then many aren’t perfect. :crazy_face:

Thank you again for your constant research & sharing what you learn.


Interesting! The Trigeminal nerve function, or rather dysfunction, has always made me wonder- I have type 2 pain, which has improved after surgery but not gone completely, but also developed dry eyes & mouth the same time as the ES got bad…I wondered if the ES inflamation caused an autoimmune disease, ir whether it’s the TN not functioning well…now I just accept it how it is, but it bugged me for a while!
Thanks for the info!