Q. Why do I get whistle sound while breathing?

Answered by
Dr. Shyam Kalyan N
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 23, 2016 and last reviewed on: Mar 13, 2020

Hi doctor,

I recently had a graft on my nasal septum, due to a large ulceration on the left wall if it. Tissue was taken from one of my turbinates and stitched onto my septum. But, I know that I have a splint sutured into my nose. This is the problem. They whistle when I breathe and one of the stitches hangs free and blocks the air passage of the left splint. I do not know how to ask them to get it removed. I positively cannot stand the whistling. It prevents me from sleeping and distracts me in school. Please help.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

With the details you have given, I understand a graft taken from nasal turbinate has been placed onto nasal septum to cover ulceration. Also post-operatively to prevent bleeding and to keep the graft over the desired area a splint has been placed.

  • We usually retain splints for a week post-operatively. Splints are placed just to appose the tissue concerned and they should not be very tight.
  • However, if the splint is too loose that it is not apposing properly then it is a case to be seen. Nextly, when splint is removed we cut sutures as well.
  • Now in your case, I presume it is a splint with airway that lets you breathe. Also I presume it has been kept only on one side of nose.
  • I believe the whistling noise could be due to some crusting inside the airway. You may instill couple of drops of nasal decongestant into the airway in the splint using somebody's help to loosen the crust and remove sound.
  • Instead of decongestant you may also use saline nasal drops. If crust gets removed and airway becomes patent the whistling will go off.
  • Suppose the whistling could also be due to loose fitting of splint, too loose that it moves with respiration, then you must visit your ENT doctor and ask him if it can be tightened.

For further doubts consult an ENT otolaryngologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ENT-Otolaryngologist

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