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Avatar universal

Pain in the nose cartilage

Okay hello! I’m freaking out— just had a mental breakdown an hour ago. This is a long post but please bear with me.

A week ago (Monday, Oct 11) I found out that I could make clicking/popping sounds in my nose by scrunching it. This was odd for me and well, not gonna lie, I was lowkey amused so I made my nose click for like twenty times. I feel like the cartilage at the right side of my nose, close to the tip was the culprit. The clicking sound came from that area and my left side doesn’t click at all. Now it didn’t hurt when I clicked it but after a few minutes came a continuous, pressure-like/dull pain that surrounded my entire right nostril. I thought by the next day (Oct 12), the pain would subside but it is still there. Whenever I breathe heavily, I can feel some sensitivity in that part of “cartilage” as if it’s loose? Also, sometimes the pain radiates to my entire lower nose, particularly in the middle where the septum is, and of course the left side as well. Sometimes the pain would travel in the bridge of my nose, just below the bone area. Other times, I would feel my right nostril tingling, or having some pins and needles sensation. When I’m stressing out about this nose condition of mine, the pain travels to the center of my forehead. This also happens when I prod the my right nostril, the pain radiates from the epicenter (a spot in my right cartilage) outwards (to my T-zone). My nose has no redness or swelling. The pain is just under my skin but it hasn’t subsided (maybe only when I’m asleep and not moving) and the pain goes from mild to moderate during the day. I have no congestion nor any discharge. I also never had sinusitis for the past month so an infection is probably unlikely. Lastly, the pain is accompanied by upper tooth pain, my right tooth specifically, and occasionally both upper teeth, the roof of my mouth, and the area between my nose and lips.

I am a hypochondriac so I googled why it was hurting and why my nose ever clicks at all— and if you’ve ever googled things (that’s why you’re probably here) you know that whatever comes out on the search isn’t gonna be any good. I came to know a rare autoimmune disease called Relapsing Polychondritis and this is the reason why I’m worrying like crazy for the past few days. It attacks all cartilage of the body and can be extremely dangerous. Well, whaddaya know? I have problems with my nose CARTILAGE at the moment! Have no other symptoms besides my nose though and I heard diagnosis is hard for this disease if other symptoms are not present (something about the McAdams criteria). Anyway this is just making me upset and feel bad. I just recently turned 21, no health issues and no family history of autoimmune diseases, but I feel like my days are numbered already. :(

The only good news is that my nose doesn’t click anymore. I tried scrunching it again on the fourth day (Oct 15) and today (Oct 18) just to recheck, and it doesn’t click/pop anymore. But there definitely is still that sensation in my right cartilage.

I’ve also looked up nasal neuralgia, by the way. Another suspicion of mine, and thankfully less sinister compared to RP. I may have irritated some nerves in my nose (looking into external nasal nerve and anterior ethmoidal nerve) when I made my cartilage click multiple times (the rubbing of cartilage with nerves), hence the dull constant, pressure like ache. If you look at the tips of the external nasal nerve in the right side, that’s the location of the spot I’m referring to. But then again, if I did irritate them by my prodding, wouldn’t the pain have eased or subsided by now? I have no pain improvements at all. Or maybe I’ve irritated it again because I kept prodding the area every two days.

I planned to wait for a week to see if my symptoms subside but nothing’s happening so I’m visiting the ENT in a few hours. Now, what worries me additionally is that the ENT will just misdiagnose me with some other disease like Staph or Cellulitis and give me medication that won’t work— meaning more expenses and anxiety time.

I’ve laid out pretty much a detailed event of what’s been happening in my nose for the past week. Any comments will be greatly appreciated! If you’ve encountered something like this in the past and have overcome this, please let me know what to do! Thanks a lot.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Okay. I prodded my nose again, although it didn’t hurt that much anymore (no more pain radiating to other areas, well, at least, not yet). And I just noticed that my whole lower right lateral cartilage feels tender. This was the sensation that I felt before every time I touch this area. But like I said, it doesn’t click anymore though!

But I also hear some popping sound from INSIDE the right nostril, like it’s congested but it’s not because I can still breathe on both sides, but perhaps it is, albeit partially. I’m really stumped.
Avatar universal
Okay update again: I decided to wait for two more days to the ENT because I now see a physical symptom. It was my first time checking the inside of my nose and I see a cluster of white spots (which aren’t surrounded by any redness by the way) on both sides, although it is much more severe on my right side. I wonder what could this be.
Avatar universal
Hi update again for those who might be curious. I went to the ENT and they looked at my nose and ears. They said the linings of my nose (mucosa) are red so they prescribed some anti-inflammatory medicine. Diagnosis was sinusitis. They told me I was too young and I wasn’t that “special” to have RP and I better stop googling or thinking about the symptoms. When I asked about the white spots, they said it was just due to the reflection of the light on my nose. When I asked about the pain (I related it to my cartilage on this one), they dismissed me and said there are hundreds of ways that my nose could hurt and they don’t want to explain it to me since apparently  it’s all just deep medical jargon - they mentioned about turbinates and stuff. I honestly don’t like how flippant the doctor sounded when dismissing my anxiety and worries.

There was only one thing that I think was good out of the consultation that I just had - the doctor said that when you have a symptom, think of the most common diseases first before progressing towards the much rarer ones. I honestly still have the nose pain although it wasn’t as severe as before. But my feelings were hurt and today was just not a good day to me despite a benign diagnosis.
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