If there is evident unevenness in the nose, it is called as a deviated septum. This can lead to health complications such as difficulty breathing or an obstructed nostril. The septum is a cartilage in the nose that separates the nostrils. Essentially, it is at the middle and divides the nostrils in an even manner.
Having an uneven septum is considered common. It only requires medical attention only if it results to other health issues or drastically affects the quality of life.
Possible causes of a deviated septum
A deviated septum can be considered hereditary. It simply means that an individual was born with the condition. It also occurs as an outcome of trauma to the nose. An individual often sustain these damages from fighting, contact sports or vehicular accidents. Remember that a deviated septum can deteriorate with age.
What are the indications?
Many individuals who have a deviated septum only have minimal deviations. The symptoms are not likely in such cases. The usual symptom is breathing difficulty especially via the nose. In most circumstances, only one side of the nose is easier to breathe through.
The other indications include sinus infections, nosebleeds or dryness of one nostril. Some usually snore or exhale loudly while sleeping or experience disruptions while sleeping. There might be nasal pressure or congestion. Inhaling via the mouth can lead to dryness of the mouth. As for a severe deviation, it can occur along with facial pain.
In most cases, treatment is not needed. One way to cope with the symptoms particularly with sinus infections is to aim on fixing the issue. The usual treatments for the symptoms include antihistamines, decongestants or nasal steroid sprays. Relief can also be provided by nasal strips that work by opening up both nasal passages.
Surgery is the option for a seriously deviated septum especially in cases where the symptoms do not improve with medications or other treatment measures. This surgical procedure is called as septoplasty which is performed under anesthesia. During the procedure, the surgeon creates an incision in the septum and removes the excess bone or cartilage to straighten it out.
What is the outlook?
A deviated septum might not trigger any issues and can be left alone. In some circumstances, a deviated septum can trigger other complications such as difficulty breathing, sleep apnea, congestion, snoring, nosebleed or infections.