Suffering with a deviated septum is not only miserable, but it can trigger serious health concerns as well.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), roughly 80 percent of the population has a deviated septum. This condition results when the septum, the thin wall of cartilage between the nostrils, is crooked or off-center causing the restriction of nasal airflow in one or both nasal passages.
Many people with deviated or crooked septums don’t even notice the condition, as it often go undetected for years before symptoms become bothersome. Sometimes, however, severe septal deformities can cause more serious symptoms.
Do you suffer from a deviated septum?
Here are three common signs:
1. Difficulty Breathing Through the Nose May Indicate a Deviated Septum
The AAO-HNS says that the most common symptom of a seriously deviated nasal septum is trouble breathing through the nose. One or both nostrils may be affected, but one side is usually worse than the other.
Often, people with crooked septums find that breathing difficulty leads them to prefer sleeping on a particular side, as this allows for easier air passage through the nostril that isn’t narrowed. And during sleep, some people with this condition may breathe noisily due to swelling in the nasal tissues.
Problems with breathing through the nose may be more noticeable if you have allergies or are suffering from a cold. And in some cases, an off-center septum can interfere with how the sinuses work, which can lead to nasal congestion and recurrent sinus infections.
2. Awareness of the Nasal Cycle Can Point to a Deviated Septum
As we breathe, one of our nostrils is first blocked and then it switches, and the other nostril is blocked. This function of the breathing process is referred to as the nasal cycle.
The nasal cycle itself is completely normal and presents no cause for worry. In fact, most individuals are never even aware of it.
However, if you find that you are aware of the cycle much of the time, that could indicate the presence of an abnormal nasal obstruction or deviation.
3. Nosebleeds and Facial Pain May be Signs of a Deviated Septum
Do you have frequent nosebleeds? A deviated septum may be the culprit.
With a crooked nasal septum, the membranes in the unobstructed side of the nose are more exposed to the air. This can dry out the septum’s surface, which can lead to bleeding.
Facial pain doesn’t always indicate an off-center nasal septum. In some cases, however, a severe deviation can impact the inside nasal wall. When this happens, you may feel pain on the side of the face with the narrowed nostril.
If you experience any symptoms that could be the result of a crooked nasal septum, a simple surgical procedure can correct the problem and restore normal, comfortable breathing. Dr. Steven Mobley, of Mobley MD Utah Facial Plastic Surgeon, has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating these and similar problems.
Contact our Murray, Utah, office today to schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns regarding a deviated septum.