About the disease
Nasal septum deviation is a condition whereby the nasal bones and cartilage that divide the nose into two breathing passages is slightly off centre, making breathing and sneezing more difficult. However, this only becomes problematic in serious cases. In children and adults, nasal septum deviation may manifest itself by frequent sinuses infections. In this case, the deviation may need to be fixed in order to assist he nose’s resistance to various bacteria and viruses.
According to WebMD, 80% of people have some kind of nasal septum deviation, which usually is harmless and does not present any difficulties. In fact, many people do not even know that they have a slight deviation of the nasal septum until they go to their otolaryngologist. Usually, this finding is absolutely accidental and, if this condition does not create an obstruction or any other problems with breathing, it does not need to be corrected. Nasal septum deviation can be either a congenital or acquired condition. Acquired nasal septum deviation can develop as a result of outside force, such as a punch to the nose. This can be a medical emergency, which needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
In some cases, nasal septum deviation can be quite dangerous. As well as snoring, it can sometimes cause sleep apnea, which is a condition that can cause the sufferer to stop breathing while they are asleep.
- Nasal bones look crooked and off-center
- Nasal congestion
- Breathing difficulty
- Frequent colds
- Loud breathing
- Snoring at sleep
- During a general examination, the doctor will examine the patient’s nasal cavity to determine how straight the nasal bones are and to find out if there is anything causing an obstruction. The doctor will also check for signs of infection or inflammation.
- The patient will be asked if they have ever had any injuries to the nose.
- The doctor will ask the patient if they frequently suffer from nasal infections or if they have any general difficulties breathing through their nose.
- The patient may be asked to breathe deeply through the nose for a short time, under the doctor’s observation.
- An X-ray and other imaging tests, such as MRI and CT scans, can help doctors to find out exactly where and how serious the nasal septum deviation is.
- Surgical correction of the nasal bones and cartilage can improve the patient’s breathing capacity. The surgery only takes an hour or so to perform, so the patient is usually able to go home a few hours later. Some patients also choose to have rhinoplasty at the same time as the nasal septum correction, to improve the appearance of their nose.
- Special splints may be used to stabilize the nasal septum and make the healing process faster.