A deviated septum is an extremely common condition that you may not even know you have. Your nasal septum is a wall of bone and cartilage that gives shape and support to your nose while dividing your nasal cavity in half. In some cases, however, it’s off center or crooked. This can make breathing difficult and cause congestion to build up, particularly in just one nostril. Your nose may feel stuffy, even when you don’t have a cold. In more severe cases, it can make the nose appear crooked.
Some people are born with this condition, and others may develop it from an injury to the nose. The trauma may have been a long time ago and may have been barely noticed at the time.
In this blog, the sinus specialists at DFW Sinus Select will explain the symptoms of a deviated septum.
What are the symptoms of a deviated septum?
This condition frequently causes nasal congestion, with one side of the nose being more congested than the other, along with difficulty breathing. It can also cause your sinuses to have trouble draining properly, resulting in recurring or repeated sinus infections.
A deviated septum can also cause the following symptoms:
- Facial pain
- Impaired sense of smell or taste
- Nasal discharge
- Post-nasal drip
- Loud, noisy breathing and snoring during sleep
- A dry mouth as a result of breathing through the mouth
A deviated septum may also cause sleep apnea, a serious condition in which you stop breathing repeatedly while you sleep.
What treatments are available for a deviated septum?
Sometimes symptoms can be improved with conservative treatment options such as medication. It won’t fix the underlying issue, but medication can sometimes help reduce inflammation or help with drainage. Commonly prescribed medications include decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal steroid sprays. They can sometimes be effective in treating symptoms, but they can also cause side effects such as drowsiness or jitteriness combined with elevated blood pressure and heart rate.
If medication alone doesn’t offer adequate relief, or if its side effects are too troublesome, a surgical procedure called a septoplasty may be recommended.
A septoplasty is performed to straighten and reposition your nasal septum so that it’s in the middle of your nasal cavity. The deviated portion can be removed or reshaped as needed so your septum more evenly divides your nose. It doesn’t involve cutting the skin, since it’s performed entirely through the nostrils, so there’s no bruising or external signs of surgery.
Septoplasty is performed under local or general anesthesia on an out-patient basis. Most patients can go home the same day after surgery.
This procedure is often very effective, since it addresses the root cause of your symptoms rather than just treating the symptoms themselves.
Where can I get treatment for my deviated septum in the Dallas/Fort Worth area?
The first step is to learn if you have a deviated septum by visiting a DFW Sinus Select ear, nose, and throat specialist. We’ll accurately diagnose the cause of your symptoms, using non-invasive instruments to examine the inside of your nose and discuss any past injury to or surgery on your nose. We may examine your nasal tissues, apply a decongestant spray, and then re-examine them. Our specialists will discuss your symptoms with you, as well as any treatments you’ve tried and how effective they’ve been. Based on your individual needs, including how serious your condition is and how troublesome the symptoms are, we’ll provide you with appropriate, effective treatment options, including medication or septoplasty.
At DFW Sinus Select, we specialize in tailoring treatments designed for the best possible long-term results 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 symptoms caused by your deviated septum.