The Bernoulli Effect and Nasal Obstruction

There are a lot of reasons why your nose can be stuffy, and the internet generally does a pretty job of explaining deviated septums and inferior turbinate hypertrophy. The vast majority of nasal airway surgery aims to correct these two problems. However, today I encountered a patient that had gone through several rounds of sinus / nasal airway surgery and still had persistent nasal obstruction. Did his surgeons do a bad job? Did he have untreated allergies or a problem with allergies?

Turns out, he had a physics problem created by a phenomenon called the Bernoulli effect. I can try to explain it but I don’t think I’ll ever be as effective as this high schooler: