The nostrils and nasal passages are separated by the septum, a wall of tough cartilage that is attached to the nasal bone. Ideally, the septum is located in the middle of the nose, creating even-sized nasal passages on each side. When the septum diverts to one side or the other due to an injury, defect or other factor, it is called a deviated septum. This condition can result in nasal obstructions and other concerns that can affect your breathing and health. At Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT, we provide treatments for our patients with a deviated septum at our clinic in Alpharetta, GA.
Causes and Symptoms of Deviated Septum
The septum plays a significant role in healthy nasal breathing. When it is centered in the nose, it creates two equal-sized nasal passages for a clear airway. This ensures the air coming into the nose has equal exposure to the mucosa that helps to clean and moisturize the air coming into the body. A deviated septum can create one nasal passage that is smaller than the other – severe cases may obstruct the nasal passage if the septum is pushed too far over.
Deviated septum conditions are often caused by injuries to the nose. A broken nose, or atrophy, may result in the septum moving or collapsing. It is also possible to be born with a deviated septum due to a birth defect.
Not everyone that has a deviated septum will have problems. Mild cases may not interfere with breathing or respiratory health at all. However, many people will have issues with their nasal health with a deviated septum. Some symptoms can include:
- Nasal obstruction
- Snoring or noisy breathing when sleeping
- Mouth breathing
- Frequent sinus infection
- Frequent nose bleeds
If a deviated septum is causing health problems, there are treatments that can improve breathing and reduce risks of chronic sinusitis. For those that continue to have issues even after medical treatment, a deviated septum can be corrected with surgery. The cartilage can be moved, and the nasal passages opened for improved breathing. Septoplasty can also be performed at the same time to open the sinus passages.
For those that have breathing or sinus infection problems due to a deviated septum, there are treatments available. To explore your options, come see our team at Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT. Contact our office in Alpharetta, GA, to schedule an exam and consultation with our ENT specialist.