The septum is the piece of cartilage and bone in the middle of the nasal cavity that separates the right nasal space from the left nasal space. In general it may not lie perfectly straight and slight bends within the septum may not cause any symptoms.
How Can You Detect A Deviated Septum?
If you have a deviated septum, the disparity between the sizes of your nasal passageways can be so severe that it creates a blockage in one or both nostrils. For this reason, a deviated septum can lead to problems such as:
A misaligned septum makes it more difficult for air to pass through the nostrils and into your lungs. As a result, you may encounter trouble breathing, especially when you have a cold or allergies. Those conditions make your nasal passages swell and narrow, which further constrains your ability to breathe.
Regular Nose Bleeds
In some patients, a deviated septum leads to regular nosebleeds. That is because the curvature of the septum creates turbulence as air passes through the nostril.
Frequent Sinus Infections Or Cold Symptoms
A clogged airway or impaired breathing through your nose often leads to sinus infections, post-nasal drip or what many people simply term “common cold” symptoms.
Facial Pain And Headaches
People with a deviated septum feel “clogged up.” That can lead to headaches and facial pain. In some cases, facial and nose pain is caused by the nasal septum actually contacting the outside wall of your nose.
One or all of these deviated septum symptoms can contribute to great difficulty sleeping. You know the frustration of trying to sleep when you are heavily congested. Now imagine that condition nearly every time you lay your head on a pillow. A deviated septum can cause you to lose sleep and that can make you irritable. More critically, a deviated symptom can contribute to sleep apnea, which is a serious sleep disorder.
There are two choices for people with a deviated septum. Continue to live with the problem, or have a septoplasty (rhinoplasty specifically to straighten the septum) surgery performed to correct the deformity. For minor deviation, it may not be worth going through surgery if the problem is only an annoyance, but for people who exhibit frequent symptoms from a deviated septum, surgery can be enormously beneficial.
For more information about septoplasty surgery, contact Ear, Nose & Throat of Fairfield today at 203-259-4700.