What Is Deviated Septum?

Deviated septum is a common disorder of the nose that involves nasal septum displacement. Ideally, the septum is situated in the center of your nose. However, in about 80% of people, it is displaced to either side. This makes one of your nasal passages smaller than the other passage. When the septum is knocked out of position significantly, you have a septum deviation.

Causes deviated septum

In some cases, this nose disorder commonly occurs during fetal development and becomes apparent at birth. It may also be caused by an injury to your nose, causing your septum to be displaced.

Such an injury usually occurs in infants during their birth. Adults and older children can also get deviated septum by tripping on a step or colliding with a wall or another person. Nose trauma occurs most commonly during active play, contact sports, or automobile accidents.

Symptoms deviated septum

A minor case of deviated septum usually does not have any symptom. You may not even be aware that you have this disorder.

However, in severe cases, deviated septum may cause the obstruction of your nostrils (one or both), making it very difficult to breathe. This symptom is more noticeable when you have allergies that make your nasal passages to narrow and swell. It also becomes obvious when you have a cold.

Nasal congestion and postnasal drip are also common symptoms of deviated septum. Another symptom is nose bleeding as the surface of the nasal septum becomes dry.

Recurring or frequent sinus infections are also typical to those who have the disorder. Lastly, deviated septum causes noisy breathing during sleep.

How deviated septum is diagnosed?

The doctor usually asks the patient about the symptoms during a physical examination. He or she also asks whether the patient has had any trauma to his or her nose. The doctor uses a bright light and a nasal speculum to check the inside of your nose. The doctor bases his or her diagnosis on this exam.

How to treat deviated septum?

Deviated septum’s initial treatment aims to manage deviated septum symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe decongestants, antihistamines, or nasal cortisone sprays. However, these medications are only a temporary fix and will not in any way correct a nasal septum deviation.

This condition can be treated through surgery. Septoplasty is the only method for repairing a deviated septum. During surgery, the nasal septum is positioned back to the center of the nose. This requires cutting and removing some parts of the septum before it is reinserted in the correct position.

How to prevent deviated septum?

Preventing deviated septum is easy. You only have to ensure your safety to avoid nose injuries that may cause the condition. Always wear a helmet when you are playing contact sports and a seatbelt when riding in a vehicle. Also, teach your children how to be safe at home and at school.