Deviated Nasal Septum Causes & Symptoms
What is a deviated septum?
A deviated nasal septum occurs when the thin wall (nasal septum) between the nasal passages is displaced to one side. When a deviated septum is severe, it can block one side of the nose and reduce airflow, causing difficulty breathing.
What causes a deviated septum?
Deviations of the nasal septum may develop during growth, a blow to the nose or surgery that further exaggerates the deviation. A deviated nasal septum can occur at birth and is apparent from the time of birth. In other cases, a deviated septum occurs due to trauma. In this case, an injury causes the septum to push to one side or the other and heals in that position. This type of injury is most common in physical contact sports or automobile accidents.
What are the symptoms of a deviated septum?
Nasal septum deviation can manifest in multiple different ways. Sometimes, you may not even notice that you have a deviated septum. When symptoms do show, they may include nasal obstruction, nosebleeds, facial pain, noisy breathing or snoring and a nose that may look crooked.
What are the risk factors for a deviated septum?
Some factors that can increase the chances of suffering from a deviated septum due to trauma may include playing contact sports, not wearing a helmet while using a bike, being involved in a physical fight.
How is a deviated septum diagnosed?
An ear, nose and throat doctor at ENT in Cayman Ltd. can diagnose a deviated septum with a physical exam of the patient, by looking into the nasal cavity and observing the affected area. Once a diagnosis is made, you can speak with a doctor about the deviated septum treatment option that is best for you.
What is the best treatment for a deviated septum?
Doctors at ENT in Cayman Ltd. can treat your deviated septum by controlling the symptoms or through surgical repair called septoplasty, but the latter is always the last resort.
Conservative management includes decongestants (reduce swelling of the nasal turbinates the nasal cavity to help limit congestion and breathing difficulty), nasal sprays (help to reduce inflammation and open airways that have been obstructed), antihistamines (help to reduce the effects of allergies, such as nasal drainage or congestion).
Surgical Treatment is always the last resort and nasal septoplasty surgery can be performed in situations when other medical intervention does not reduce symptoms or for severe conditions. During the procedure, a surgeon repositions the septum to the center of the nasal cavity. This sometimes requires removing parts of cartilage and bone in order to realign symmetrically.
If you are suffering from a deviated septum, the first step towards feeling better is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor.
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