Difficulty breathing through your nose? A deviated septum may be complicating your breathing.
When breathing is complicated, it impacts nearly every moment of your life. Whether you’ve been diagnosed or are suspicious that a deviated septum is the cause of your inability to breathe unrestricted, learning more about the issue and addressing it will put you on the path towards relief.
What is a deviated septum?
A septum, which consists of bone and cartilage, serves as a wall. The septum in your nose separates the inside of your nose into two cavities. The septum should be centered in the nose, allowing both the left and right sides of your nose to contribute equally to your breathing. When the nasal septum is not straight or unevenly situated, favoring one side, breathing becomes more complex.
Although the majority of people have nasal passages that are different sizes, a severely off-center septum forces one side to be significantly smaller than the other. This smaller space can block or limit airflow in one of your nasal passages, and without proper airflow, breathing becomes difficult. It can also cause crusting and bleeding, which can be both painful and embarrassing.
A deviated septum is common, with an estimated 80% being off-center (1). Symptoms of a deviated septum include:
- Nasal blockages (one or both nostrils)
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Nasal congestion
- Sinusitis (chronic or recurrent sinus infections)
- Facial pain
- Postnasal drip
- Snoring and noisy breathing
Deviated Septum Surgery: What is septoplasty?
If your chronic or recurrent sinusitis is caused by a deviated septum and nothing else, septoplasty will bring you relief fast!
Deviated septum surgery is called septoplasty. Septoplasty is a surgical procedure that corrects the displacement of the bone and cartilage that separates your two nasal cavities. The procedure allows the doctor to straighten or reposition the septum, equalizing the space in each of the nostrils so air can flow through each evenly and without obstruction. Portions of the septum may be readjusted and reinserted or removed during the procedure depending on the current position of your septum.
If undergoing septoplasty, you can expect a 1-1.5 hour procedure with no external bruising after the surgery unless combined with a rhinoplasty procedure. To correct sinusitis, if a deviated septum is not the only cause of your nasal blockage, the procedure may be performed in conjunction with endoscopic sinus surgery.
The surgery is typically an outpatient procedure and is followed by nasal packing to catch any potential bleeding that occurs after the surgery.
How to Know if Deviated Septum Surgery is Right for You
An Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor can diagnose your deviated septum and determine if a deviated septum is the cause for your sinusitis. The ENT will discuss your symptoms during an examination, learn about your medical history, ask about prior nasal surgeries, and if a diagnosis is made, create a plan for treatment.
This treatment plan may include surgery, which is the only way to correct a deviated septum fully. When nosebleeds or recurrent sinus infections are symptoms of your deviated septum, surgery can fix these issues. In certain situations, additional tests may be performed to ensure that your problems are thoroughly analyzed before a course of treatment is decided.
Act now with North Texas Sinusitis Center and Dr. Gilmore!
The time to act is now. Request an appointment with North Texas Sinusitis Center’s Dr. Gilmore today!
References & Resources
- Deviated Septum (entcolumbia.org)