Chicagoan Steve Boudreaua runner, cyclist and yoga enthusiastfound himself himself especially stymied in recent years by the allergies that he'd been afflicted with for as long as he can remember.
"Truly, I have had sinus problems, allergies and breathing issues my entire life," recalled Boudreau, who works as a senior marketing manager for Boston Consulting Group. "I was one of five children, and I was the only lucky one to have inherited these traits from my parents. Lucky me, right?"
In the last several years, Boudreau's breath issues were becoming even more of a challenge.
"One of the challenges I had, being active, was the ability to breathe well through my nose," he explained "… If you're breathing through your mouth, you're wasting half of your energy."
Boudreau had been seeing physician Jordan Pritikin, M.D., for what he said were "constant" sinus infections and a deviated septum. A nasal valve collapse, when nasal cartilage collapses inward during inhalations, seemed to be the culprit.
"I had been held captive to taking medicines, giving myself nasal sprays before I'd go to sleep, just to try to keep all my passageways clear," Boudreau said, adding that a newfound interest, hot yoga, was being hindered by having to constantly blow and wipe his nose.
"I looked around and asked, 'Why am I the only person doing this?'" he recalled.
Pritikin eventually suggested that Boudreau try Latera, a relatively new absorbable nasal implant. Those implants would support the side walls in Boudreau's nose, opening up the passageways for easier breathing. Boudreau agreed and underwent the procedure in April 2017.
The implants, he said, seemed to act as "a nasal strip that's always there."
He noticed an immediate improvement: "The next day, I was back to being myselfit was night-and-day difference. I no longer breathe through my mouth. I can run outside for miles now and I'm running faster because I'm breathing properly. And my number one measure of success is, I no longer have to have a wad of Kleenex next to me in the Vikram studio."
Being able to return to his favorite activities with improved breath has been "life-changing," Boudreau said.
"I think there's a bit of a sense of calm that I have in my life that I didn't have before," he added. "There's physiological benefits to breathing properly. … You think clearer. I feel like there was always this fog over me that I didn't realize was always there. Now that I'm breathing better, I'm thinking better. There's more of a sense of calm and peace."
Sexual orientation: Gay
Preferred pronouns: He/his
Relationship status: Engaged
Favorite TV show: Sex and the City
Favorite snack: Chobani yogurt with granola
Hobbies: Working out, running; "My dogs take a lot of my time as well."
Personal mantra: "Anger is boring."