Otolaryngology & Allergy Testing & Immunotherapy Clinic located in Mandeville, Hammond, & Slidell, LA
The nasal septum is seldom in the exact middle of your nose; in fact, it’s off-center in 80% of adults. But when it’s severely off-center, or deviated, it can affect your breathing, cause sinus infections, and lead to nosebleeds. The experienced physicians at SLENT have helped many patients get relief from their symptoms, which often requires surgery to repair the deviated septum. To learn about your treatment options, schedule an appointment online or call one of the offices in Slidell, Hammond, Metairie, and Mandeville, Louisiana.
Deviated Septum Q & A
What is a deviated septum?
Inside your nose, the left and right nostrils are divided by a thin piece of cartilage called the septum. The septum is typically located in the middle of your nose, but sometimes it’s displaced or off-center, creating a condition called a deviated septum. In addition to affecting the appearance of your nose, a septum that’s severely deviated can block your airway and make it hard to breathe.
What symptoms develop due to a deviated septum?
A deviated septum doesn’t always cause symptoms, but when they do develop, you’ll experience problems such as:
- Nasal congestion
- Obstruction of one or both nostrils
- Sinus infections
- Difficulty breathing
- Postnasal drip
- Mouth-breathing during sleep (adults)
- Noisy breathing during sleep (infants and young children)
A deviated septum may lead to chronic sinusitis, sinus headaches, and facial pain or pressure. Your nasal symptoms can also affect the quality of your sleep.
How is a deviated septum treated?
Patients with a minor deviation and minimal symptoms often don’t need treatment other than antihistamines or decongestants to clear congestion. When you have ongoing symptoms or a severe deviation, there’s one primary treatment option: septoplasty.
Septoplasty is a surgical procedure to straighten your septum and reposition it in the center of your nose. During a septoplasty, your doctor at SLENT may need to trim and reposition tissues or replace some of the cartilage. If your deviated septum is caused by crooked bones, your surgeon can reposition the bones and use extra cartilage to hold them in place.
What should I expect after surgery to repair my deviated septum?
You’ll receive specific, individualized instructions to follow after your septoplasty. During recovery, you’ll probably need to avoid strenuous activities, sleep with your head elevated, and ignore the need to blow your nose. It usually takes a few days for your swelling to go down, but you should be back to work or school within a week.
The cartilage and bones inside your nose heal gradually. The tissues should stabilize in 3-6 months, but they can continue to heal for about a year.
If your deviated septum causes symptoms, call SLENT or schedule an appointment online.
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