A deviated septum is a problem that occurs when the nasal septum is significantly crooked or off the center. The problem is quite common, and as a result, a lot of people live with some sort of asymmetry in the size of their breathing passages. In fact, it is estimated there is an 80 percent chance that you could be having a septum that is misaligned to some extent. But in cases of severely deviated septa, patients may experience difficulty breathing, making it necessary to seek the assistance of a reliable Newport Beach otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery specialist.
Symptoms of a Deviated Septum
In most cases, a deviated septum does not cause any symptoms, and most people may never know that they have the problem. Some patients, however, do experience signs and symptoms such as:
● Obstruction in one or both nostrils making it difficult for them to breathe
● Regular nosebleeds due to dryness on the surface of the nasal septum
● Facial pain
● Noisy breathing when sleeping
● Awareness of nasal cycles
● Preference to sleep on a particular side to optimize breathing
Causes of a Deviated Nasal Septum
A deviated nasal septum usually occurs when the septum is significantly crooked or displaced to one side. This condition could start during fetal development and become apparent at birth. In other words, a deviated nasal septum is a congenital defect in most cases. It is, therefore, not clear why it happens.
In other cases, the condition can occur as a result of physical trauma causing the septum to move out of its position. In some cases, the aging process can affect the structure of the nose and worsen the symptoms over time.
Some risk factors for a deviated septum include genetic factors, participating in contact sports, and even failure to wear seat belts when driving or riding in motorized vehicles.
Treating Deviated Septum
If left untreated, a deviated septum can lead to complications such as dry mouth as you struggle to breathe through the mouth, feeling of congestion or pressure in the nasal passages, and difficulty sleeping. Treatment usually involves the use of decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal steroid sprays to manage the symptoms.
The Bottom Line
Overall, it is apparent that a deviated septum is quite a common problem, but most people do not get to know that they have the problem. Unfortunately, in serious cases, it can come with symptoms and can make it be quite debilitating. The good news is that there several ways in which the symptoms can be managed. Alternatively, a facial plastic surgeon can help you to solve the issue permanently through septoplasty.