Deviated Septum Symptoms & Causes
What is a deviated septum?
A deviated septum occurs when the thin nasal wall between the nostrils, called the nasal septum, is pushed to one side of the nose.
What causes a deviated septum?
A deviated nasal septum can occur at birth during fetal development, and is apparent from the time of birth. In other cases, a deviated septum occurs due to trauma. In this case, an injury causes the septum to push to one side or the other, and heals in that position. This type of injury is most common in physical contact sports or automobile accidents.
What are the symptoms of a deviated septum?
Nasal septum deviation can manifest in multiple different ways. Sometimes, you may not even notice that you have a deviated septum. When symptoms do show, they may include:
- Nasal obstruction
- Facial pain
- Noisy breathing or snoring
- Nose that looks crooked
- Nasal drainage
What are the risk factors for a deviated septum?
Some factors that can increase the chances of suffering from a deviated septum due to trauma may include:
- Playing contact sports
- Riding or driving in a motor vehicle
- Not wearing a helmet while using a bike
- Being involved in physical fights
How is a deviated septum diagnosed?
An ear, nose and throat doctor at New York ENT can diagnose a deviated septum with a physical exam of the patient, by looking into the nasal passage and observing the affected area. Once a diagnosis is made, you can speak with a doctor about the deviated septum treatment option that is best for you.
What is the best treatment for a deviated septum?
Doctors at New York ENT can treat your deviated septum by controlling the symptoms or through surgical repair called septoplasty:
- Decongestants can reduce swelling in the naval passage to help limit congestion and breathing difficulty
- Nasal Sprays can help to reduce inflammation and open airways that have been obstructed
- Antihistamines can help to reduce the effects of allergies, such as drainage or congestion
Septoplasty surgery can be performed in situations when other medical intervention does not reduce symptoms or for severe conditions. During the surgery, doctors reposition the septum to the center of the nose. This sometimes requires removing parts of the septum in order to realign symmetrically.
If you are suffering from a deviated septum, the first step towards feeling better is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of nasal conditions. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.