A deviated septum (misalignment of the cartilage that forms the nasal passages) can be visible or invisible, and can cause a host of problems from pain to breathing difficulty. Around 80% of people are estimated to have some measure of septum deviation. Only the most serious cases usually require surgical intervention.
At SLENT, our expert team of otolaryngology surgeons offer solutions for a deviated septum to patients living in Slidell, Mandeville, and Hammond, Louisiana. While some symptoms can be alleviated with medication or new sleeping arrangements, in many cases the problem will have to be corrected with a surgical approach.
Some people are born with a deviated septum because the nose formed incorrectly. Other infants might suffer a deviated septum due to injury during their birth. Children and adults can end up with a deviated septum due to trauma from a car accident, a sports injury, or an accidental blow to the face that knocks the nasal septum out of position.
You can have a slightly off-kilter nose, and no deviated septum symptoms. However, if your septum is severely affected, these are the five signs to look for:
You might have trouble breathing out of one or both nostrils, especially when you have a cold or allergies. The clog can seem to move from one side to the other in a “nasal cycle,” which is normal, but you shouldn't be consciously aware of the cycle.
Nosebleeds that are frequent and without a clear cause may be a sign of a deviated septum.
Pain on one side of your face may be caused by pressure from the nasal passage on that side being compressed or swollen, so narrow passageways come under pressure.
If you are a loud sleeper, it could be due to a deviated septum causing loud breathing, snoring, or a whistling sound from a blocked nasal passage.
If you have a deviated septum, it can make you want to always sleep on one side because otherwise you feel like you can’t breathe freely.
If your symptoms are mild and occur mostly at night, a steroid nasal spray can help relieve congestive symptoms. So can raising the head of your bed. If you need surgery, your SLENT doctor can perform a septoplasty to remove excess or deformed cartilage and bone and widen your nasal passages.
Think you may have a deviated septum? Contact the SLENT team at your closest location, or book an appointment online today.