What is a deviated septum?
The nasal septum is the wall dividing the nasal cavity into halves; it is composed of a central supporting skeleton covered on each side by mucous membrane. The front portion of this natural partition is a firm but bendable structure made mostly of cartilage and is covered by skin with a substantial supply of blood vessels.
The ideal nasal septum is exactly midline, separating the left and right sides of the nose into passageways of equal size. A deviated septum occurs when the nasal septum is displaced to one side or another, making one of the nasal passageways smaller than the other.
Septal deviations can be inherited or occur due to nasal trauma.
What types of issues does a deviated symptom cause?
A deviated septum may cause one or more of the following:
- Blockage of one or both nostrils
- Nasal congestion, sometimes one-sided
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Frequent sinus infections
- Facial pain, headaches, postnasal drip
- Noisy breathing during sleep
How do you diagnose a deviated septum?
A nasal exam is conducted in a doctor’s office with a small telescope. If there are sinus complaints, a CT scan or X-ray will be conducted. Nasal turbinate size and configuration and the presence of any polyps is noted.
How do you treat a deviated septum?
A deviated septum must be corrected through surgery. Septoplasty is the preferred surgical treatment method. This involves the straightening of the septum, placing it in the midline position and reducing the turbinate.
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