Deviated Nasal Septum – An Overview
A deviated septum occurs as a result of the thin wall known as the nasal septum between the nasal passages getting displaced to one side. In a lot of cases, the nasal septum is displaced or deviated making one nasal passage smaller than the other. If a deviated septum is severe, it can block one side of your nose and reduce airflow, causing a lot difficulty breathing.
There are a number of reasons why nasal blockage may occur such as a nasal septum or swelling of the tissues that line the nose.
Deviated Nasal Septum Symptoms
In most cases, visible signs of a deviated septum may not even occur. In fact, you may not even realise that you may have a deviated septum at most times. However, the most common signs and symptoms include:
- Noisy breathing during sleep
- Nose bleeds
- Facial pain
- Obstruction of one or both nostrils
- The need to sleep on a particular side
- Awareness of the nasal cycle
- Recurring sinus infections
If you have any/some/all of the above symptoms, seek medical attention promptly.
Deviated Nasal Septum Risk factors
In many cases, a deviated septum can be a birth defect that may have occurred occurring during foetal development or due to having suffered an injury during childbirth. After birth, a deviated septum may be caused by an injury that has displaced your nasal septum
- Most common risk factors include: Not wearing your seat belt while riding on a motor vehicle
- Playing contact sports
Deviated Nasal Septum Diagnosis
Your doctor will ask you a number of questions regarding the signs and symptoms that you are having, based on those, he will examine the inside of your nose using a bright light and an nasal speculum.
Once the results for this test are confirmed, the doctor can diagnose a deviated septum and determine the seriousness of your condition.
Deviated Nasal Septum Treatment
Initial treatment goals of a deviated septum are to manage the symptoms of the tissues lining the nose, which may then contribute to symptoms of nasal obstruction and nasal stuffiness. For this, your doctor may prescribe:
- Nasal steroid sprays
- Antihistamine medication
If signs and symptoms of a deviated septum still persist, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure known as a septoplasty which may sometimes also be followed by nose reshaping.