Can Fixing My Deviated Septum Help Resolve My Sleep Apnea?

Many people struggle with sleep disorders, and one of the most common is sleep apnea, which affects nearly a billion people globally. Around 30 million people in America cope with obstructive sleep apnea, the more common of two types of this disorder which can happen at any age. Millions of people don’t even realize they have it, and left untreated, it can adversely affect your health.

Once it is diagnosed, there are many treatment options available to manage this condition and help you get better sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea in particular is due to blockages in your airflow when resting. So theoretically, would a seemingly unrelated treatment for something like a deviated septum help manage symptoms? Let’s find out by examining why you get a deviated septum, what connections there may be between it and sleep apnea, and how treating it can help this sleep disorder.

Please note: If you live in the Orlando or Kissimmee, Florida area and you’re struggling with problems related to a deviated septum, Drs. Wade Han, Elvira Livigni De Armas, and the dedicated team at Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center can help.

Reasons for a deviated septum

Your nasal septum is the cartilage and bone that separates your nasal cavity into the left and right side. When it is off-center (leaning to the left or right) it is considered deviated. An estimated 80% of people likely have some form of deviated septum, and it is often not a serious problem. Several factors can lead to a deviated septum, including it being congenital (present at birth), being hit in the nose, having an accident, falling, or suffering a nose injury in sports.

Any of these can lead to symptoms like headaches, facial pain, nasal congestion, noisy breathing, sinus inflammation (sinusitis), snoring, and even sleep apnea.

Connections to sleep apnea

The direct connection between the two conditions are a bit complicated, but if a deviated septum causes severe congestion, it can turn into sleep apnea. A nine-year study into the connection shows that the prevalence of major septal deviation was over four times higher than the control group in the same study, demonstrating evidence of a connection. 

How treating a deviated septum helps sleep apnea

A septoplasty is an outpatient surgical procedure that can remove or reshape tissue that is responsible for causing the deviation in your nasal cavity. It can make your nose look more symmetrical and relieve related problems like snoring and breathing difficulty. If this condition is related to obstructive sleep apnea, it will help reduce symptoms and make sleeping easier.

While the two conditions aren’t always connected, if a deviated septum does affect your breathing, it can coincide with sleep apnea, and a septoplasty may help. If you’re dealing with complications related to a deviated septum or other nasal problems, make an appointment with Drs. Han, Livigni De Armas, and the team at Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center to experience better breathing and relief from your symptoms.

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