What Problems Can a Deviated Septum Cause?
A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall between your nasal passages, or septum, is displaced to one side. In many people, the nasal septum is off-center or deviated, making one nasal passage smaller than the other.
Problems caused by a deviated septum range from a minor annoyance to difficulties breathing. Treatment of nasal obstruction such as a deviated septum may include medications to reduce the swelling. However, to correct a deviated septum, you'll need surgery to address the problems that a deviated septum can cause.
A Deviated Septum Makes Breathing Difficult
A nasal blockage or obstruction can occur from a deviated nasal septum, swelling of the tissues lining the nose, or both. When a deviated septum is severe, it can block one side of the nose and reduce airflow, causing difficulty breathing. Additionally, when a deviated septum is exposed to the drying effect of airflow through the nose, this can contribute to crusting or bleeding. This is the most troublesome and potentially dangerous problem caused by a deviated septum.
Your nose is explicitly designed for optimal breathing. Some health reasons why you should repair a deviated septum to better breathe through your nose include:
- Air inhaled through the nose is warmed and made moist to prevent the nasal passages’ delicate tissues from drying out
- Air exhaled through the nostrils becomes moisturized, which reduces dehydration of the nasal tissues
- Breathing through the nose filters the air before it enters the body, and the mucus of the airway linings collects potential contaminants before they can enter the body and cause harm or sickness
- Breathing through the nose protects your oral health, as inhaling through the mouth dries it out and causes decay
- Breathing through the nose helps the facial muscles and bones develop correctly and helps develop straight teeth
- Breathing through the nose lessens the chance of snoring, reduces the chance of sleep apnea, and promotes a good night’s sleep
- Nose breathing allows the body to take in the proper amount of oxygen for its needs
Other Problems Caused By a Deviated Septum
A deviated septum can result in no apparent symptoms. However, some septal deformities may cause the following signs and symptoms:
- Obstruction of one or both nostrils, making it difficult to breathe through the nostril or nostrils
- The surface of your nasal septum may become dry, increasing your risk of nosebleeds
- A potential cause of one-sided facial pain could be a severely deviated septum in which surfaces within the nose touch, causing pressure
- Noisy breathing during sleep
- Atypical awareness of the nasal cycle, or when the nose alternates between being obstructed on one side and then changes to being blocked on the other
- Preference for sleeping on a particular side to optimize breathing through the nose at night, when one nasal passage is narrowed
Septoplasty Can Fix Problems Caused By a Deviated Septum
Septoplasty is a surgical procedure that restores deviated septum problems. Dr. Saigal will straighten and reposition your nasal septa to the center of your nose. This procedure can be an ideal option for people who cannot easily and comfortably breathe out of their nose, as it provides reliable and predictable results associated with easier breathing.
Patients generally report that septoplasty minimizes symptoms of discomfort and makes breathing troubles substantially less frustrating. However, patients don’t always experience the same changes. While one patient may notice that their symptoms are a lot less unpleasant, another may notice more subtle changes.
Dr. Saigal Can Help With Problems Caused By a Deviated Septum
Dr. Saigal is a dual board-certified surgical subspecialist whose training, credentials, and experience reflect his commitment to meeting the highest standards of clinical care for his patients. If you are experiencing issues with problems caused by a deviated septum, Dr. Saigal is your best choice for treatment, such as septoplasty, to help you breathe easier.