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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Deviated Septum

The human nasal cavity plays a crucial role in the overall function of the respiratory system — it conditions and filters the air we breathe before the latter is delivered to other areas of the respiratory tract.

During the process of breathing, air passes through the left and right airways. These passageways are divided by a thin wall called the nasal septum.

Lying about in the middle of the two nostrils, the nasal septum is usually straight. Occasionally, though, it may be deviated because of a birth defect — such as when one nostril is much smaller than the other — or deformed due to injury, among other reasons. Sometimes, because of causes such as excessive nose-picking, long-term exposure to harmful fumes, cocaine use, trauma or inborn conditions, the nasal septum can deviate from the centerline of the nose. This particular condition then is known as a “deviated septum.”

Deviated septum is a condition found in eight out of every ten people in varying severity. In most cases, it is hardly noticeable and usually causes no symptoms and does not require treatment. However, in severe cases, situations a deviation may block one side of the nose, making a person prone to inflammation of the sinuses or sinusitis. This is especially true if the deviated septum blocks drainage from a sinus into the nasal cavity.

What are the symptoms of deviated septum?

A patient likely has deviated septum if he or she experiences:

  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Facial pain
  • Headaches
  • Noisy breathing
  • Frequent sinus infections

What is the treatment for deviated septum?

  • Surgery. Septal deviation cases are referred to a specialist in treating ear, nose and throat disorders. If the deviated septum is causing frequent nosebleeds or recurrent sinus infections, surgery may be recommended.
  • Septoplasty. Septoplasty is a procedure performed through the nostrils. The surgery might be combined with a rhinoplasty or sinus surgery.

A septoplasty procedure usually takes anywhere between one hour to 90 minutes, depending on the deviation. It can be performed either under local or general anesthesia and is usually done on an outpatient basis.

Following the surgery, nasal packing is inserted to prevent excessive postoperative bleeding. Badly deviated portions of the septum may be removed entirely during the surgery, or they may be readjusted and reinserted into the nose.

Relief from this severe disorder can be expected if a deviated nasal septum is the only cause of chronic sinusitis.

For innovative, state-of-the art facial plastic and ENT surgical care, come to SoCal ENT. To schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Namazie, please call us at 818.986.5500, or you can use our online Request an Appointment form.

 

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