Cartilage known as the septum divides the two nostrils of the nose, ideally into two equal sides. In some cases, the septum can be off center to a sufficient degree that it appears visibly crooked or makes breathing difficult. This condition is known as a deviated septum.
A significant percentage of people have some type of imbalance in the size of their breathing passages, and some of them have troublesome symptoms as a result.
In this blog, the sinus specialists at DFW Sinus Select will explain what you should know when looking for treatment options for deviated septum symptoms.
What causes a deviated septum?
A deviated septum occurs when the septum – which divides the nasal cavity – is off center or crooked, possibly causing breathing difficulties.
Some people are born with a deviated septum, while others could have had one develop after a trauma or injury to the nose. The event that caused it may have happened long ago, and you may not have realized that you were injured as a result.
About 80% of the U.S. population is estimated to have some sort of misalignment, and many of them don’t realize it.
What are the symptoms of a deviated septum?
In some people, a deviated septum causes no problems at all. In others, it may cause issues that include the following:
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Nasal congestion – usually affecting one side more than the other
- Recurrent sinus infections
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Sleep issues such as loud snoring and/or sleep apnea
- Postnasal drip – occurs when excess mucus runs down the back of your nose and drips down your throat
What are the treatment options for deviated septum symptoms?
Medications can sometimes help relieve some of the symptoms associated with a deviated septum. If this doesn’t provide enough relief, a surgical procedure known as a septoplasty may be needed to repair the deviation in your septum.
What is septoplasty?
Septoplasty is a minimally invasive treatment that is performed entirely through the nostrils. The surgeon makes a small incision and repositions and straightens your septum after removing any excess cartilage.
The surgery is usually performed in an outpatient setting under local or general anesthesia. It takes about 60 to 90 minutes to complete, depending on the amount of work that needs to be done.
Patients can often go home about three to four hours after surgery. Recovery is usually quick, and you may be asked to simply refrain from strenuous activities or from blowing your nose for a few weeks. You may also need to elevate your head when you sleep for this period of time.
What are the benefits of septoplasty?
There are numerous benefits to having a septoplasty to correct a deviated septum, including:
- Improved breathing
- Improved sleep patterns
- Decrease in frequency of sinusitis (sinus infections), nosebleeds, and headaches
- Improved sinus drainage
Where can I find treatment for my deviated septum symptoms?
At DFW Sinus Select, our ear, nose, and throat specialists will accurately diagnose the problem that’s causing your symptoms. We’ll examine the inside of your nose and also talk with you about your medical history, including any past injury to or surgery on your nose.
We may examine your nasal tissue, apply a decongestant spray, and then re-examine them afterward to see what effect, if any, the spray has had.
Our specialists will discuss your symptoms with you, including how often they occur and how troubling they are to you. We’ll also ask about any treatments you’ve tried and whether they’ve made any difference in your symptoms.
Once we’ve completed our thorough examination and discussed everything with you, we’ll work with you to develop a plan to effectively address your symptoms. At DFW Sinus Select, we create an individualized treatment plan designed to give you the most effective, long-lasting results possible with minimal side effects.
We’ll provide the highest quality of medical care, combining expertise and experience with compassion. Contact us today to find out how we can help alleviate your deviated septum symptoms.