What Is a Deviated Septum?
One of the most common causes of chronic sinusitis or nasal airway obstruction is a deviated septum. When a person has a deviated septum, air which normally enters the nose freely has to go in through narrow spaces between the septum and the inferior turbinate of the nose.
The most common symptom from a badly deviated or crooked septum is difficulty breathing through the nose. The symptoms are usually worse on the side opposite of the bend. In some cases, the crooked septum can interfere with the drainage of the sinuses, resulting in repeated sinus infections.
Septoplasty is the preferred surgical treatment to correct a deviated septum. Septal deviations may occur due to nasal trauma or you may have been naturally born with it.
A Deviated Septum May Cause The Following
• Blockage of one or both nostrils
• Nasal congestion, sometimes one sided
• Frequent nosebleeds
• Frequent sinus infections
• At times, facial pain, headaches, post nasal drip
• Noisy breathing during sleep (in infants and young children)
In some cases, a person with a mildly deviated septum has symptoms only when he or she also has a “cold” (an upper respiratory tract infection). In these individuals, the respiratory infection triggers nasal inflammation that temporarily amplifies any mild airflow problems related to the deviated septum. Once the “cold” resolves, and the nasal inflammation subsides, symptoms of a deviated septum often resolve too.
What to Expect at Your Visit
After a thorough discussion about your symptoms, there will be an examination of the general appearance of your nose, including the position of your nasal septum. This will entail the use of an endoscope to inspect the inside surface of the nose. Additional testing, such as a CT Scan, may be required in some circumstances. If your deviated septum is causing troublesome nosebleeds or recurrent sinus infections, septoplasty may be necessary.
Septoplasty is a surgical procedure performed entirely through the nostrils. Accordingly, no bruising or external signs occur. Septoplasty may also be combined with sinus surgery.
For more information on South Texas Sinus Institute, our services, or our locations, fill out our online contact form or call 855-99SINUS.
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