WHAT IS A DEVIATED SEPTUM?
Your left and right nostrils are separated by a thin wall (nasal septum) of cartilage and bone that runs into your nose. In some people this wall can end up off-center causing one nasal passage to be smaller than the other.
This can be caused by:
- An injury to the nose or face. Often seen in athletes involved in contact sports or as a result of a ball/elbow to the face. Some people also experience nose trauma from roughhousing or due to a vehicular accident.
- A birth defect. For some, the nasal septum doesn’t form correctly during fetal development and they are born with this condition.
WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?
For some, a deviated septum can cause no problems at all. For others, a deviated septum can come with a myriad of issues. These can be simple annoyances, but at times can progress to serious medical problems that can cause significant distress.
Depending on the degree of deviation, people with deviated septums can experience:
- Breathing Issues
- Chronic Congestion. This is often worsened by a cold or allergies and can cause people to breathe solely through their mouths, leading to dry mouth.
- Sleep Problems. Breathing through your nose is important during activities such as sleeping and can cause particular issues if you are unable to do so. People with deviated septums can experience poor sleep quality and sleep apnea as a result.
- Post-Nasal Drip. A consistently runny nose, both externally and internally, can lead to mucus buildup in the chest and airway leading to an irritating cough.
- Frequent Nosebleeds. A deviated septum can cause your nasal septum can become dry. This increases your risk of a bleeding nose.
- Facial Pain. A severely deviated septum may impact the nasal wall and lead to irritation that can cause pain.
- Headaches. Chronic congestion and inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages can lead to frequent headaches. This can impact your quality of life and productivity.
- Chronic Sinus Infections. A deviated septum can make you more prone to sinus infections. Rarely, these infections can lead to potentially serious complications involving the brain.
- Aesthetic Issues. In the event your deviated septum was caused by a trauma to the nose, there can likely be a noticeable disfigurement remaining long after the injury has healed. This disfigurement can cause an asymmetry to the face and reduce facial attractiveness.
WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT?
One of the main remedies for a deviated septum is surgical intervention. Nose surgeons (ENT’s or Cosmetic Surgeons) can perform a septoplasty or a rhinoplasty combined with a septoplasty. The difference between the two is quite simple:
- Septoplasty: Focuses solely on fixing the displaced nasal septum within the nose and relieving the obstruction to airflow. This procedure is performed entirely inside the nose with no external involvement and aims to restore proper breathing. As a result, it is considered a medically necessary procedure.
- Rhinoplasty: Focuses on the physical appearance of the nose, aiming to rebalance the size and shape of the nose. Because this surgery is aimed at improving the aesthetic appearance of the nose, it is considered a cosmetic procedure.
When combined, these procedures can provide a dramatic change in the quality of life of people suffering from deviated septums and nasal disfigurements. Clearing the airway from obstruction allows you to breathe clearly again and relieves your symptoms. You can enjoy a good night’s sleep without mouth breathing and be freed of pesky nosebleeds and head pain. In addition, restoring the symmetry of your nose, and consequently your face, instantly enhances your attractiveness so you can face the world with greater confidence and pride in your appearance.
As septoplasty is an entirely internal procedure, and rhinoplasty often requires very little external manipulation or incisions, these procedures offer little to no scarring and a quick recovery time. Additionally, these simple procedures are usually done on an outpatient basis, allowing you to go home on the same day. In just one day, you can breathe a breath of fresh air with your new straightened nose and put your best face forward.
Are you suffering from a deviated septum? Do you want to enhance the look of your nose? Call at 403-668-2917 for more information and a personalized consultation.