A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall between the nasal passages is more to one side. In many people, the nasal septum is off-center which makes one nasal passage smaller. When the nasal septum deviation severe, you should not delay the treatment and should visit an ENT specialist. In this condition, it can block one side of your nose and reduce airflow which causes difficulty in breathing. Nasal blockage can occur due to deviated septum and from swelling of the tissues lining the nose or from both.
Symptoms of deviated septum
In most cases of deviated septum, there are no symptoms and you may not even have an idea that you have a deviated septum. Some of this may cause the following symptoms:
- Blockage of one or both nostrils: This blockage can make it difficult to breathe through the nostrils. You might notice this more when you have a cold which can cause nasal passages to swell.
- Facial pain: You can also have one-sided facial pain because of the severe deviated septum in which the surfaces within the nose touch and cause pressure.
- Nosebleeds: The surface of the nasal septum may become dry which increases the risk of nosebleeds.
Causes of a deviated septum
A deviated septum can be caused by:
- It could be a condition which is present during birth: In some cases, a deviated septum occurs during fetal development and is apparent at birth.
- Injury to the nose: A deviated septum can also be the result of an injury which causes the nasal septum to be moved out of position.
In infants, this injury can occur during childbirth and in the case of adults, this could be because of the wide array of accidents that might lead to a deviated septum.
Diagnosis of a deviated septum
During your visit to the doctor, he will ask about the symptoms that you might have. To examine the inside of your nose, the doctor will use a bright light and instrument designed to open your nostrils. The doctor might check your nasal tissues before and after applying a decongestant spray. Based on this exam, he can diagnose a deviated septum and determine the seriousness of the condition.
Treatment of deviated septum
Initial treatment of a deviated may be directed by managing your symptoms. The doctor may prescribe:
- Decongestants: Decongestants are able to reduce the swelling, help in keeping the airways on both sides of your nose open. You should use nasal sprays with caution.
- Nasal steroid sprays: Prescription nasal steroid sprays are able to reduce swelling in your nasal passage and help with drainage. It will take around 1-3 weeks for steroid sprays to reach their maximal effect.
If you still experience some symptoms despite medical therapy, you might consider surgery to correct your deviated septum. Septoplasty is the ideal way to repair a deviated septum. During septoplasty procedure, the nasal septum is repositioned in the center of your nose. This might require the surgeon to cut and remove parts of your septum before arranging them into a proper position. The level of improvement you can expect with surgery depends on the condition of your deviation. Symptoms due to the deviated septum mainly nasal obstruction can go away.
If you are suffering from a deviated septum, then you should look for treatment as soon as possible. There won’t be any problems when you will undergo the deviated septum surgery.
author name: Dr. Siddharth Vashishtha
author bio: Specialist in Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeries