The septum is the piece of cartilage and bone that separates the right nasal space from the left nasal space in the middle of the nasal cavity. It may not be perfectly straight in general, and slight bends within the septum may not cause any symptoms.
Detecting A Deviated Septum
If you have a deviated septum, the disparity between the sizes of your nasal passages can be so extreme that one or both nostrils are blocked. A deviated septum can therefore 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.
For those with a deviated septum, there are two alternatives. Continue to live with the problem and perform septoplasty (rhinoplasty specifically to straighten the septum) surgery to correct the deformity. With mild deviation, surgery may not be necessary if the issue is just an inconvenience, but surgery can be extremely beneficial for people who show recurrent symptoms from a deviated septum.
For more information about septoplasty surgery, contact Ear, Nose & Throat of Fairfield today at 203-259-4700.