Within the nasal passage, there is a thin wall called the nasal septum. This wall separates the right and left sides of your nasal cavity. Ideally, the nasal septum should be centered between the two cavities. However, there are many individuals who have a deviated septum causing one nasal passage to be smaller than the other.
Many people have displaced septums and do not realize it. If the offset septum is not causing any health issues, then there is no need to be concerned. However, if you are having difficulty breathing, are experiencing frequent nosebleeds, or have any other severe symptoms, it is a good idea to visit an ENT specialist who will able to offer an effective treatment plan.
If it is found that you have nasal obstruction, you may be able to treat the problem with such things as adhesive strips or medication. If you have a deviated septum that is causing the symptoms, then deviated septum surgery is required.
Deviated septum symptoms include:
- Laboured breathing during sleep – Normal breathing during sleep can become more difficult with a septal deformity. Noisy breathing when sleeping is especially common in young children or infants – and may be due to a deviated septum and turbinate enlargement.
- Frequent nosebleeds – Septal deformities can cause the septum to dry out, which increase the occurrence of nose bleeds.
- Difficulty breathing through one or both nostrils. Obstruction from a septal deformity can make it difficult to fully breathe through one or both nostrils.
- Facial pain – If the septum comes into contact with the outside wall of the nose, pain may occur.
- Chronic sinus infections – Frequent sinus infections may be a sign of a septal deformity.
If you are concerned that you have a deviated septum, it is important to consult with an ear nose and throat doctor in order to begin a proper treatment plan. Your doctor will be able to assess whether or not deviated septum surgery is necessary.