WHAT IS A DEVIATED SEPTUM?
The nasal septum is a structure made of cartilage and bone that divides the nasal cavity into two sides. It is lined by a mucous membrane and normally allows for streamlined, aerodynamic airflow through the nose. A deviated nasal septum occurs when the nasal septum is crooked and protrudes into one side of the nose more than the other. The nasal septum can become deviated during birth, or more frequently as a result of trauma to the nose. Most people (up to 80%) have some mild degree of deviation in their nasal septum, and often, this condition goes unnoticed and does not cause any problems. However, in some cases, the deviation is severe or associated with other nasal conditions such as turbinate hypertrophy or allergic rhinitis. A deviated nasal septum can cause a variety of troublesome symptoms. These symptoms can include:
- Nasal blockage
- Facial pain/pressure
- Nasal congestion
- Nasal drainage
- Chronic sinus infections
All of our physicians are affiliated with Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose & Throat. These ENT physicians can determine whether or not you have a deviated nasal septum by performing a physical exam. This exam includes a thorough inspection of the external and internal anatomy of the nose. Often, an instrument called a nasal speculum is used to painlessly and gently widen the nostril so that the nasal cavity can be inspected. Depending upon the patient’s symptoms, a nasal endoscopy may be performed to visualize the internal nasal cavity in its entirety.
If symptoms like those listed above are significantly affecting your quality of life, you may need to have your nasal septum surgically repaired. This often involves a procedure called a septoplasty.
Our skilled surgeons will be happy to discuss your treatment plan and determine what course of action is best for you. For an appointment, contact us.