What is a Deviated Septum?
A deviated septum is when the septum, the structure inside your nose made of bone and cartilage, is not straight. Your septum divides the two sides of the nose into a left and right side. If it isn’t straight, it can prohibit air from reaching the back of your nose and make it difficult to breathe.
Symptoms of a Deviated Septum
When your septum leans to one side it may cause that nostril to feel obstructed or blocked. Allergies, cold, or sinus infection can make the blocked feeling worse. Allergies, cold and sinus infections cause the membranes in your nose to swell, making your nasal passages even more narrow. Nasal obstruction and or recurrent sinus infections can be a sign that you have a crooked septum.
A deviated septum might not be the only cause of your snoring issues, but it can be a factor. Think of it like pinching the end of a balloon as you let air out, it makes a squealing sound. A crooked septum narrows your airway, which can cause noise when you breathe.
When the surface of your septum becomes dry, you can experience nose bleeds.
In some cases patients experience facial pain or sinus headache. This is largely due to the narrowed passageway and additional symptoms such as swelling.
Sleeping Only On One Side
If you notice that sleeping on a certain side makes it harder to breathe, you may have a deviated septum.
Because a deviated septum narrows your nasal passageway on one side, it can often feel like that side of your nose is always congested.
Recurrent Sinus Infections
Also known as sinusitis, reoccurring sinus infections can be a sign of a deviated septum.
What Causes a Deviated Septum
- Birth - Development at birth can cause a deviated septum
- Injury to the Nose - this can happen during birth, rough play, sports or a car accident. The injury does not have to be severe to cause the septum to become unaligned.
- Aging - As we age our cells degrade. Aging can cause a slightly deviated septum to become worse over time.
- Rhinitis - Swelling of the nasal cavities can further narrow the nasal passage, worsening a deviated septum
How to Know if You Have a Deviated Septum
The only way to know if a deviated septum is the cause of your sinus issues is with a CT scan. At Texas Sinus and Snoring we believe in comprehensive care. So when you come in for your first appointment, we can do your CT scan and scope (if needed), right in our office. This usually means you’ll receive a diagnosis right there and we can work with you on a treatment plan.
How to Fix a Deviated Septum
Balloon Septoplasty, not to be confused with Balloon Sinuplasty, is advertised as a solution for a deviated septum. Since a correction of the cartilage and bone is necessary to fix a deviated septum a balloon septoplasty will not work as a permanent solution. A deviated septum is a surgical nasal problem, not a sinus problem. The best way to correct a crooked septum is with a Septoplasty procedure.
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