Do You Have a Deviated Septum?

If one side of your nose is often more congested than the other and if you have difficulty breathing, the problem might be a deviated septum.

ThinkstockPhotos-78158080What is a septum? It is the wall of bone and cartilage that separates your left and right nasal cavities. When this wall is crooked or displaced to one side, it can obstruct airflow and make breathing more difficult.

Some people are born with a deviated septum and others develop one as a result of an injury or a trauma to the nose. A deviated septum is not at all uncommon. In fact, four out of every five people have some degree of non-symmetry to their nasal septum. For most, the misalignment is not significant enough to cause any complications, but those with a more severe imbalance can suffer significant breathing problems and require treatment.

Common symptoms of a deviated septum are:
• Nasal congestion
• Difficulty breathing through your nose
• Recurrent sinus infections
• Frequent nose bleeds
• Sinus headaches and facial pain
• Post nasal drip
• Loud snoring or breathing while asleep

For some, a deviated septum can be treated with medications. If medications are unsuccessful in correcting the deviation, an otolaryngologist, or an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor can perform a surgical procedure called a septoplasty to repair a crooked septum and improve breathing.

The surgery is usually performed in an out-patient setting under either local or general anesthesia. The procedure is usually completed in one to two hours with the patient being able to go home within three to four hours after surgery. There is normally little or no swelling after the procedure.

Jamaica Hospital’s team of ENT specialists can diagnose and treat patients with deviated septum. To make an appointment, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.