Student's Breathing Problems Were Caused By Slug-Sized Growths In Her Nose
If you're squeamish in any way, you might want to think twice about reading on or looking at the following images. If not, however, or you're just curious, then by all means, read on...
A London student had suffered from worsening breathing problems for years, until she found out her nose was blocked with growths that, when removed, were the size of 'large slugs'.
Julia Khalil, 21, had the monstrous growths removed by surgeons after repeatedly suffering with poor breathing that left her struggling to exercise. She even had cramps in her back, ribs and chest.
Julia was even too embarrassed to study in the library because her breathing was so loud she felt like other students were judging her.
Originally from West Hampstead in London, Julia discovered the cause of her health issues was enlarged 'turbinates' - lumps of soft tissue in the nasal cavities.
In her case, they'd swollen so much that she had to have surgery - which cost £9,000.
Speaking about her shock at seeing the removed growths, she laughs: "They were enormous.
"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.
"I honestly feel like a vacuum cleaner, I can inhale so much. The more I think about how my life was before, the more I appreciated how it's changed for the better.
"I'm definitely not taking it for granted, because I know how much I used to suffer.
"Now, when I'm in a quiet room, I'm not the loud one that everyone is staring at anymore. 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."
To make Julia's problems worse , when she was 12 she was diagnosed with scoliosis - a curvature of the spine.
Her doctors assumed this was the cause of her breathing problems - and so the turbinates were overlooked until she eventually underwent surgery earlier this year.
In the end, a friend pointed out that Julia's turbinates might be enlarged or swollen.
She said: "For most of my life, I haven't been able to breathe properly.
"And when you're always struggling for oxygen, it can be a miserable experience.
"And I always had difficulty sleeping, too, often waking up gasping for breath.
"If I ever tried exercising, I would have to breathe through my mouth. Everything was restricted.
"But one of the worst things was when I was in a quiet place, everyone could hear me breathing. They would give me funny looks, I felt awful and would try and avoid places like the library.
"Some people would openly say I annoyed them because I breathed so loudly."
A consultation with Dr Bashar Bizrah, founder of the Beyond Med Centre in Kensington, London, confirmed the suspicions - and the surgery to fix it only lasted 30 minutes.
During Julia's surgery, which was carried out by Dr Bizrah, she also had a correction to a deviated septum - a bent nasal passage that also restricts air flow.
Turbinates can become enlarged through a number of ways - and they also grow slightly as we get older.
Stress, fatigue, hormone changes, thyroid disorders and pregnancy can all cause the turbinates to become inflamed, irritated and enlarged.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS