Deviated Nasal Septum: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options
Nasal septum divides the nasal cavity into two parts.
It is covered by mucous membrane on each side. Anatomically, nasal septum needs to be in the
center of the nasal cavity where it leaves equal space for both right and left nostril.
What is a Deviated Nasal Septum?
When the nasal septum is located off the center, it can be termed as deviated nasal septum.
A deviated nasal septum departs from the central line of the nose. There can be various reasons behind
the deviation of the nasal septum. In many cases, slight to severe deviation is observed from the time of birth.
At times, when the septal deviation is related to fetal development, surgery is performed immediately after birth to correct it.
In large number of cases, injury to the nose is a major contributing factor behind deviation.
Symptoms of Deviated Nasal Septum
The symptoms can vary from individual to individual.
This results in variation of severity as well.
Most common Deviated Septum Symptoms include the following:
- Blockage of one or both nostrils. It may be accompanied with
nasal congestion that increases in case of cold symptoms.
- Snoring at night and problems in breathing.
- Recurrent day and night headaches.
- Postnasal drip and increased propensity to develop it with allergic symptoms.
- Increase in the frequency of sinus infections in view of nasal inflammation.
What are Deviated Septum Cures?
If the degree of nasal septum deviation is mild, it might not require any other form of treatment.
The occasional symptoms of sinusitis and nasal congestion can be treated well with over the counter
antibiotics and decongestants. However, it is imperative that long term usage of decongestants should be avoided.
One should consult a physician to have a look at the degree of deviation - who can then device a treatment plan
accordingly. When the deviation is severe and poses significant problems to the patient, surgical correction
for the same becomes imperative.
There are two types of Deviated Septum Surgery:
1. Submucous Resection
Popularly known as SMR, this is the surgery that involves peeling of the lining of the nose from the septum and removal
of cartilage and bone from the area of deviation. This is performed under general anesthesia and lining is
replaced. After the procedure, nose is gently packed for 24 to 48 hours in order to maintain correct position.
The procedure requires hospital stay for a day or two after which the patient can be discharged home.
This surgical procedure involves removal
of the septum and attempt to re-position it in the middle of the nose after straightening.
At times, septum is put in place with the help of splints that are placed inside the nostrils.
The patients are instructed against blowing of the nose for a week to 10 days in order to speed up the healing process.
Many badly crooked noses have been successfully treated by this approach.
Septoplasty is a simple procedure and can be done on an outpatient basis.
However, many patients experience dull headaches and puffy face after the surgery.
At times red spots on the skin are observed around the eyes and nose.
These symptoms are short-lived and usually subside in a short span of time.
The patients are advised to sneeze, if required, with their mouth open to relieve any kind of pressure.
The patients should be aware of the importance of following the instructions religiously in order to expect a speedy healing.
In order to make the most of the surgical options, many people go for procedures with aesthetic appeal.
This usually leaves no bruising or external signs of surgery.
A careful choice needs to be made before making the decision to go under the knife to correct the deformity.
Many people combine septoplasty with rhinoplasty to enhance their looks and in order to lend a natural appeal to the surgery done.