A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall (nasal septum) that separates the nasal passages is not straight and shifts to one side. The nasal septum should be centered, allowing airflow through both nasal passages.
However, when the septum deviates, one nasal passage may become partially or completely obstructed, leading to respiratory problems and other uncomfortable symptoms that an Otorhinolaryngologist (ENT) should address.
The symptoms of a deviated septum can vary in severity and may include:
Nasal congestion: One of the most common complaints is congestion or difficulty breathing through one of the nasal passages.
Recurrent sinusitis episodes: Nasal obstruction can increase the risk of recurrent sinus infections.
Nosebleeds: Dryness and irritation of the nasal mucosa can lead to frequent nosebleeds.
Snoring: Nasal obstruction can increase the tendency to snore during sleep.
Sleep apnea: In severe cases, a deviated septum can contribute to sleep apnea, a dangerous condition that interrupts breathing during sleep.
Headaches: Some people experience headaches due to congestion and breathing difficulties.
The causes of a deviated septum can vary and are often the result of a combination of factors. Some common causes include:
Previous injuries: A nasal trauma, such as a blow or fracture, can displace the nasal septum.
Irregular growth: Sometimes, the nasal septum may develop irregularly during childhood or adolescence.
Genetic factors: Some people may inherit a predisposition to having a deviated septum.
Aging: Over time, nasal tissues can weaken and change, contributing to the deviation of the septum.
The treatment for a deviated septum depends on the severity of the symptoms and the underlying cause. Some treatment options include:
Decongestants and nasal sprays can help temporarily relieve congestion.
In mild cases, nasal positioning exercises may be recommended to straighten the septum.
In more severe cases or when symptoms are significant, septoplasty may be performed to correct the deviation of the nasal septum. This procedure aims to straighten the septum and improve airflow through the nasal passages.
If you experience persistent symptoms such as nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, or nosebleeds, it is important to consult an ENT. An ear, nose, and throat specialist can assess your symptoms, perform diagnostic tests, and determine the best treatment option for your particular case.
Do not let a deviated septum affect your quality of life; seek medical help at BlueNetHospitals and find relief for your symptoms.
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