A deviated septum is a condition in which the nasal septum, or the thin wall of cartilage that separates the two nostrils, is misaligned or curved. Some people are born with the condition, although many individuals develop a deviated septum after a traumatic injury to the nose.
Studies suggest that more than 80% of people have some deviation of the septum, most unknowingly. For many, the deviation is slight enough that the resulting symptoms aren’t troublesome. However, in more severe cases, a deviated septum can cause significant breathing problems if left untreated.
Here’s an overview of the common deviated septum symptoms from the board-certified otolaryngologists at DFW Sinus Select.
Common Deviated Septum Symptoms
Symptoms associated with a deviated septum can vary in severity, including:
- Difficulty breathing through the nose due to obstruction of one or both nostrils: A deviated septum makes the air passages increasingly smaller, which affects normal breathing.
- Recurrent nosebleeds: If the septum is deviated, air is obstructed, thus hitting the “curl” of the septum. As a result, the septum lining often dries up, leading to cracking and amplified vascularity that increases nosebleed risk.
- Regular sinus infections: A deviated septum causes the ostium (the sinus passage responsible for mucus drainage) to constrict, hence blocking mucus flow and normal drainage. A build-up of excess mucus in the sinus cavity presents a perfect breeding environment for bacteria, thus increasing the chances of sinus infections. If this occurs regularly, it can cause sinus inflammation that leads to chronic sinusitis.
- Sleeping disorders: A deviated septum commonly leads to an obstruction of the airway at night, resulting in chronic snoring or a serious sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.
Seeking Deviated Septum Treatment in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area?
A deviated septum can result in some significant symptoms that require medical attention. While conservative options may be effective at improving your deviated septum symptoms, in severe cases, the best way to achieve long-lasting relief and improved breathing function is to undergo a surgery called a septoplasty. This procedure permanently straightens a misaligned septum.
To learn more about treatment options for deviated septum symptoms, schedule an appointment at DFW Sinus Select today for a consultation.