I was suffering from congested sinuses since the beginning of November when I tested positive for Covid. My wife even called the paramedics to help relieve me, to no avail, as everything checked out. I wasn’t able to sleep because I wasn’t able to breathe through my nose. After weeks of that, in odd random times, my sinuses would suddenly clear up and I was able to breathe very easily. So easily in fact, that I wasn’t used to the feeling and my brain thought it was ENS. Which fucked me up quite unfortunately. Of course, nothing has actually ever been done to my nose, but somehow upon reading about ENS, my brain decided it was that – because it must be. You see, the brain doesn’t work in tandem with me. It’s its own entity, even if it’s a part of me. So while I try to talk myself out of the fact I don’t have ENS, my brain decided that randomly I do.
After almost three months of that BS, I finally decided it’s time my brain understand I don’t have ENS and in fact, I have SNS. I have Stuffy Nose Syndrome. It is a syndrome that 99.999% of the world’s entire population has. This is when you get stuffy sinuses for a long time, and then suddenly is able to breathe normally clearly again. Since you have gotten used to having a stuffy nose or partially stuffy nose for so long, your brain decided that having a stuff nose is the norm, and breathing clearly is the abnormality. If you can’t feel the air going into your nostrils, it’s not because it’s ENS. It is in fact your nostrils are temporarily in shock of the clear breathing. Your brain is tricking you to believe breathing clearly is abnormal. So it will try its best to screw with your mental health and help you go back to ‘normal’. This means giving you anxiety, and telling your body to ‘behave’. Hyperventilation, hyper awareness of your breathing are both very common symptoms of this. So to combat this, you have to train yourself to breathe in slowly and deeply at least once, then breathe in as you believe you normally should, rather than what your fucked-up brain thinks should be normal.
People with ENS get it when their turbinates were operated on, making the nerves on them unable to feel breathing. This happens primarily through turbinate reduction surgery, or elderly aging, or through some other physical trauma. SNS on the other hand is primarily a mental thing trying to fuck with you. You know when your sinuses feel cold when you breathe, even when you don’t necessarily feel the air going in? Don’t worry, you’re breathing. Your turbinates are dry and the air is cool. It’s normal to not always feel air go through your turbinates. I’ve had this non-sensation before Covid, so did my wife, and pretty much almost everyone I know. Air is going into your nose and into your lungs. You are normal. The clear breathing is normal. Even when both nostrils open up, that’s also normal, just uncommon. What’s abnormal is when your sinuses are stuffy.
If worst comes to worst, at night when you get SNS, just go to the washroom, spray each nostril with some saline nasal spray, then Q-tip some Secaris into each nostril on the outer turbinate. Then put a warm steaming towel over your nose, and breathe in the steam a few times. Afterwards, before going back to bed, turn your bedroom heater on and close your door a bit. Deter your thoughts from SNS and focus on someone in your life. This has helped me and in the recent weeks, I’ve been able to get good sleep 90% of the time.