What is a Deviated Septum?
The nasal septum is the thin walled structure between your nasal passages. It is highly common to have a nasal septum that is not perfectly centered, leaving one nostril larger than the other. The American Academy of Otolaryngology states that nearly 80% of septums are not centered. A displaced nasal septum is referred to as a deviated septum. Often, a crooked septum is not a cause for concern. However, there are instances where the nasal septum is so displaced that it causes difficulty breathing or contributes to a tendency for crusting or bleeding along the nasal passages as the drying effect of breathing occurs. Causes of deviated septums include a birth defect or a nasal injury.
What are Symptoms of a Deviated Septum?
Most cases of a displaced septum result in no symptoms at all. In cases of severe septum deformities, the following symptoms may be present:
- Nostril obstruction
- Facial pain
- Tendency to sleep on a particular side
- Loud breathing while asleep
If any of the following symptoms are present, it is important to visit an ENT:
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Obstructed nostrils
- Chronic or recurring sinus infections
How is a Deviated Septum Treated?
There are several ways to manage symptoms caused by an off-center septum. Some of the treatments intended to manage symptoms include:
- Nasal Spray
In order to actually correct a deviated septum, surgery is required. The two surgeries used to treat crooked septums are:
- Septoplasty – During a septoplasty, the surgeon will straighten and correctly position the septum. In order to do this, your surgeon may need to remove pieces and replace them.
- Rhinoplasty – A rhinoplasty is surgery that reshapes and modifies the shape of the nasal bones and cartilage.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as frequent nosebleeds or chronic sinusitis, a deviated septum could be to blame. Contact Dr. John Austin today to schedule an appointment for the correction of your deviated septum.