The septum is a thin wall of bone and cartilage that separates the two sides of your nasal cavities. A normal septum runs straight down the center of your nostrils, permitting equal and smooth airflow. But, if the septum has deviated, meaning it’s crooked or displaced, your breathing becomes interrupted.
A deviated septum can make one side of your nasal passages smaller than the other. The deviation can also make your nose look crooked or “off.” A deviated septum is common but doesn’t always cause serious breathing problems.
However, a severe deviation can create a variety of symptoms that are hard to ignore and may interfere with your overall health. The board-certified specialists at Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center with offices in Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida, are experienced in evaluating and treating a deviated septum so you can breathe more easily.
If you experience any of these major signs of a deviated septum, make an appointment at our office to see how we can help.
1. Trouble breathing
A deviated septum can make it harder for you to breathe through your nose. You may find this most noticeable at night when you’re trying to sleep, or it can interfere with your breathing during exercise or sports activities.
As a result of your impaired breathing, you’ll tend to compensate with persistent mouth breathing, which dries and irritates your oral mucosa and can eventually damage your teeth. Mouth breathing dries your saliva so it can no longer serve as a protectant that helps wash away debris that attracts decay-causing bacteria.
2. Regular nosebleeds
When the lining of your nose becomes dry, it puts you at a greater risk of regular nosebleeds. Normally, air flows smoothly through your nasal passages, but when you have a deviated septum, air moves less efficiently. That dries out your moist membranes and causes irritation.
3. Repeated nasal infections
Blockage caused by a deviated septum causes nasal congestion and inflammation that makes it more difficult for your sinuses to drain. As a result, you may experience repeated sinus infections and symptoms like post nasal drip that make it feel as if you always have allergies or a cold.
If you do have seasonal allergies, a deviated septum can significantly worsen your nasal symptoms.
4. Frequent headaches
Inflammation in your nasal passages results in stuffiness and congestion that causes pressure in your sinuses. The pressure can produce debilitating headaches that interfere with your quality of life.
5. Sleep disturbances
A deviated septum interferes with your ability to sleep soundly. It can cause snoring, which affects your partner and can even contribute to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep condition that causes you to stop breathing during sleep and prevents deep rest.
Surgery fixes a deviated septum
At Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center, we offer conservative therapies like nasal sprays and medications to ease the symptoms of a deviated septum. When these options fail to offer you relief, Dr. Han and his team may recommend surgery to correct the alignment and function of your nasal septum.
Septoplasty is an outpatient procedure that requires no external incisions. You can typically expect to return to work and other daily activities within a week.
Some people may experience better results with rhinoplasty, which combines corrections of a deviated septum with changes to the shape, size, or crooked appearance of your nose. Trust the surgical skills of the providers at Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center who use their meticulous attention to detail to provide outstanding, cosmetically pleasing results that can increase your self-confidence and help you breathe normally.
Find out more about how you can benefit from the medical care services provided at Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center. If you have a deviated septum, chronic sinusitis, or problems with ear infections, make an appointment today by calling one of the offices or booking online.