Deviated septum is a common condition that affects many individuals worldwide. It is a medical condition that occurs when the nasal septum, the thin wall of cartilage and bone that divides the two nostrils, is displaced to one side or the other, making one nostril smaller than the other. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about deviated septum, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Causes of Deviated Septum
The exact cause of deviated septum is unknown, but can be caused by a range of factors, including:
⦁ Congenital Defects: A deviated septum can be present from birth due to a congenital defect.
⦁ Trauma: Trauma to the nose, such as a broken nose, can cause the septum to become crooked.
⦁ Aging: As we age, the septum can shift due to natural wear and tear.
⦁ Chronic inflammation: Chronic inflammation of the nasal passages, such as from allergies or sinusitis, can cause the septum to become deviated over time.
Symptoms of Deviated Septum
The symptoms of deviated septum can vary from person to person, and some individuals may not experience any symptoms at all.
The most common symptoms of deviated septum include:
⦁ Difficulty breathing: A deviated septum can obstruct the nasal passages, making it difficult to breathe through the nose.
⦁ Congestion: A deviated septum can cause one side of the nose to become more congested than the other.
⦁ Frequent nosebleeds
⦁ Facial pain or pressure
⦁ Headaches: A deviated septum can cause pressure and headaches in the forehead and around the eyes.
⦁ Snoring: A deviated septum can cause snoring and interrupted sleep.
⦁ Recurrent sinus infections: A deviated septum can lead to chronic sinus infections due to the difficulty in draining mucus from the sinuses.
Diagnosis of Deviated Septum
Your doctor will perform a physical exam to check for a deviated septum. They may also use an endoscope, a small camera that is inserted into the nostril, to get a better look at the nasal passages. In some cases, your doctor may order imaging tests, such as a CT scan, to get a more detailed view of the nasal passages.
Treatment of Deviated Septum
The treatment of deviated septum depends on the severity of the condition and the symptoms you are experiencing. If you are not experiencing any symptoms, treatment may not be necessary.
However, if you are experiencing symptoms, treatment options may include:
⦁ Medications: Medications such as decongestants and antihistamines can help alleviate some of the symptoms of a deviated septum, but they do not correct the structural issue.
⦁ Nasal Strips: Nasal strips can be applied to the outside of the nose to help open up the nasal passages and improve breathing.
⦁ Septoplasty: A septoplasty is a surgical procedure that can straighten the deviated septum and improve breathing. This is often the most effective treatment option for a deviated septum.
⦁ Rhinoplasty: In some cases, a deviated septum may be corrected as part of a rhinoplasty (nose job) procedure. This can improve both the appearance and function of the nose.
⦁ Balloon Sinuplasty: This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses a small balloon catheter to dilate the sinus openings and remove any blockages, often performed in combination with septoplasty for comprehensive treatment of deviated septum.
Recovery after Surgery
After surgery, you will need to take some time off to rest and recover. You may experience some swelling and bruising around the nose, and you may need to use nasal sprays and saline solutions to keep the nasal passages moist. You will also need to avoid blowing your nose for several days after surgery, and you should avoid strenuous activities for several weeks.
In conclusion, deviated septum can cause a range of problems for breathing, sleep, and overall health. Treatment options may include medications or surgery, depending on the severity of the condition. With proper treatment, most individuals can successfully manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to speak with our providers at Enticare to determine the best course of treatment for your individual case. Don’t hesitate to call us at 480-214-9000.