Do you have blocked nostrils, recurring nosebleeds, and sinus infections? You could have a deviated nasal septum. Here are things to know about this common nose problem.
What is It?
The septum is the thin wall of cartilage and bone that divides the left and right nasal passages. Ideally, there should be a balance in the size of the two breathing passages. However, something may displace your nasal septum. The septum has deviated if it’s substantially crooked or off center.
A severe deviation of the septum can block one side of the nose. The displaced partition can impinge airflow and make breathing difficult. A deviated nasal septum may also increase the risk of snoring, sleep apnea, headaches, nosebleeds, or facial pain in some people. Patients can undergo rhinoplasty in Colorado to treat this problem.
What Causes It?
A birth defect may lead to a deviated septum. If the misplacement happens during fetal development, the problem will be apparent at birth. Injury or trauma to the nose can also cause a deviated septum. Injuries that may move the septum out of position include trip and fall accidents, collisions, and sports injuries.
Eighty percent of people have a misaligned nasal septum. However, the seriousness of the condition varies from person to person. Also, people often get used to the way they breathe that they don’t recognize that they have this problem.
Treatment for a deviated septum includes medical therapy, surgical repair (septoplasty), and nose reshaping (rhinoplasty). During a septoplasty, a surgeon straightens and repositions the septum in the center of the nose. Nose surgeons often combine a septoplasty with a rhinoplasty.
Decongestants, nasal steroid sprays, and antihistamines also help relieve swollen membranes. Surgery helps correct the displaced septum.
Talk to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor if you’re experiencing deviated septum symptoms. The specialist can diagnose the problem and determine the severity of the condition.