Causes And Solutions For Your Deviated Septum
Your nasal septum is the wall inside your nose that divides the nasal cavity in half. It’s made up of bone and cartilage and runs through the midline of your nasal cavity so each side is of equal size. If you have a deviated septum, that means your nasal septum is off-center. According to some ear, nose, and throat specialists, the nasal septum is off center at least a little in a large majority of the population. You might be born that way or you may have had a nose injury.
How To Detect A Deviated Septum
If you have trouble breathing through your nose, you may have a deviated septum. The most common symptom that we see of a deviated septum is nasal obstruction, specifically when one side of the nose is more obstructed than the other. Other signs of a deviated septum include having frequent sinus infections, nosebleeds, facial pain, headache, or postnasal drip. Do you suffer from snoring? A deviated septum may be a contributing factor.
How Are You Diagnosed?
Your ENT (or ear, nose, and throat specialist) can review your history and perform a physical exam. Be clear about your symptoms and detail any nose related issues you’ve had in the past years. Once you decide your symptoms are severe enough to see a doctor, they will examine the nasal mucosa of each nostril with an endoscrope, which is a lighted camera, to get a full view of tissues, structures, and septum within the nose.
Deviated Septum Treatments
An off-center nasal septum is common and you may not require treatment at all if it doesn’t bother you; however, if your doctor says your deviated septum is causing chronic issues such as difficulty breathing, sinus infections, nosebleeds, facial pain or even headaches, you may want treatment to resolve these issues. The first step is medical therapy, such as nasal sprays, which can help with breathing better through the nose. If you cannot control the symptoms that way, you might require a surgical procedure called septoplasty.
Ask About Septoplasty
Septoplasty includes a small incision in the nasal septum so it can be straightened. The surgeon can remove extra cartilage and bone in the area that might have forced the septum to be off-center in the first place. Once it is straight, you will have splints put in each nostril to keep the septum aligned. The splits stay in approximately one week and help the healing process. The surgery typically takes about 60 minutes and is done through your nostrils. Dr. Davis uses an endoscopically assisted approach and he does not use packing. There is also no change to the look of the nose externally. Most patients require a week to recover and a full month to heal completely.
Look Into Options
Before you decide on one option or another, see the professionals at the Breathe Clear Institute and have your deviated septum examined by the people who know noses best. We want to find the right solution for your symptoms.