The human nasal passageways are separated by bone, cartilage and soft tissue. This partition is known as the nasal septum and ideally, the nasal septum lies exactly in between the nostrils. It has been estimated, however, that approximately 80% of individuals have a septum that is not centered. When the septum is not centered, it is referred to as a deviated septum. Most individuals with deviated septums have no complaints and probably don’t even know they have it.
Others, however, are acutely aware of the problems their deviated septum causes. Whether the nasal septum is deviated by trauma or malformed from birth, quality of life and overall health can suffer dramatically. Individuals who have deviated septums often have frequent and severe sinus and nasal infections due to poor airflow and drainage of the sinuses. Nasal congestion is a common part of their daily life along with occasional headaches, facial pain and postnasal drip. Breathing through the nose is difficult in some cases which results in mouth breathing, often contributing to sleep problems among other quality of life issues. Difficult to control nosebleeds and crusting from poor drainage are also common in those with deviated septums.
Patients with deviated septums in Dayton are diagnosed by a medical professional and problematic cases are often referred to our board certified and experienced staff at DeVore Katz Michaelson ENT. Through a specialized instrument called a nasal speculum and a light, the specialist can examine the nasal passageways and determine if the septum is deviated from midline. Additional testing and medications may be required or tried but often septoplasty surgery is recommended to correct deviated septums that are interfering with an individual’s quality of life and/or health.
Deviated septums are also often repaired when any external improvements are made to the nose. Rhinoplasty, the cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of the nose, commonly includes a septoplasty. After septoplasty surgery, individuals experience improved breathing and even improved sleep quality. Nasal and sinus infections are often less frequent and less severe when they do occur. Uncontrollable nose bleeds are also treated by septoplasty surgery. Not only can function be improved with septoplasty surgery but form and appearance is as well.
If you think you might have a deviated septum, schedule a consultation with us at DeVore Katz Michaelson ENT and we’ll help you determine the best possible treatment for your needs.