A 21-year-old woman who said her breathing issues made it difficult to exercise or even study around others was shocked by the growths surgeons removed from her nostrils, which she said were about “the size of large slugs.” Julia Khalil, of northwest London, said her issues had been chalked up to complications from a scoliosis diagnosis she received at age 12, SWNS reported.
“For most of my life, I haven’t been able to breathe properly,” the university student told the news outlet. “And when you’re always struggling for oxygen, it can be a miserable experience. I used to wake up in the middle of the night with horrific cramps in my back, ribs and chest because my body was always fighting to breathe.”
Khalil finally found relief after she connected with Dr. Bashar Bizrah, who diagnosed her with enlarged turbinates. The normally small-sized structures cleanse and humidify the air that passes through the nostrils into the lungs. According to Stanford Health Care, they are made of a bony structure surrounded by vascular tissue and a mucous membrane outside, and can become swollen or inflamed by allergies, irritation or infection. Patients can experience nasal obstruction and congestion.
To reduce inflammation, Stanford Health Care recommends a procedure called radiofrequency turbinate reduction, which involves a needle-like instrument which transmits energy into the tissue to cause “controlled damage,” which then reduces inflammation by triggering a healing process. However, in Khalil’s case, surgeons opted to remove the turbinates.
“They were enormous,” she told SWNS. “Side by side, they were about the size of large slugs. Almost instantly, I could breathe so much more easily. And since then, I’ve been able to sleep better and I can go for a run without having to worry about catching my breath.”
Khalil said the procedure has improved her quality of life immensely. She said in the past she had received judgmental stares or comments while studying in quiet areas due to the noises she made while struggling to breathe.
“Now when I’m in a quiet room, I’m not the one that everyone is staring at anymore,” she told SWNS. “I’m not the annoying one making breathing noises. I don’t have to avoid quiet rooms and I can study in the library. It’s changed my life.”