Deviated Septum - Boys Town Ear, Nose & Throat Institute



Could You Have a Deviated Septum?

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What is the septum? It is the wall of cartilage and bone that separates your two nostrils. When this wall becomes misaligned, it is considered to be a deviated septum. What are some signs of a deviated septum? Is it serious? What can be done to correct the problem?

First of all, it is estimated that about 4 out of 5 people have nostrils that are not perfectly symmetrical - but there is a big difference between having a septum that is ever so slightly misaligned, and one that significantly off center.

How can this occur? Sometimes people are born with a deviated septum - other times it may occur due to an injury, perhaps when you were young (like getting hit in the nose by that pass in gym class!)

Having significantly different nostril sizes can create blockages that cause other issues. For example, if you have a seriously deviated septum, you may experience frequent congestion or even difficulty breathing through your nose. You may experience frequent nosebleeds, or even be more prone to sinus infections. Headaches can result from the sinus issues, and post nasal drip may be common because of the misalignment. Sleep defects can also occur such as snoring or sleep apnea.

If you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms and suspect that a deviated septum is to blame, get a referral for an ear, nose, and throat doctor. Such a professional is well qualified to perform an examination that can determine if a deviated septum is your problem. An ear, nose, and throat doctor will have the proper tools to examine the inside of your nose and make a diagnosis.

So what will be done if it turns out you have a deviated septum? The condition is rarely such a big issue that it needs to be corrected surgically. Often your ear, nose, and throat doctor will make suggestions for keeping the passages from getting blocked. You may be prescribed a nasal spray to help keep the nasal passage clean when you get a cold or an infection.

If you do end up needing surgery, know that it is an outpatient procedure. It should only take an hour or two to perform. You'll recover from most of the procedure in the first week, but a full recovery can take up to a month. If the primary issue was chronic sinus infections, and correcting the deviated septum does not solve the issue, further surgery may be needed on the sinuses themselves.

Last Updated:7/16/2013
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Date: 14.12.2018, 10:18 / Views: 35592