A deviated septum is considered as a prevalent condition of the nose. It is important to note that the septum is the bone and cartilage separating the left and right sides of the nasal cavity. Deviation or displacement of the septum is generally due to trauma. In some cases, it can be congenital or linked to systemic cartilage ailments.
What are the signs?
If an individual has a diverged septum, the septum in the nasal region is leaning right or left. This results to diminished drainage of the sinuses. The individual might experience the following:
- Difficulty breathing via just one or both nostrils
- Bloody nose
- Nasal congestion
- Sleep apnea
Many individuals who have a diverged septum do not display any symptoms.
The condition is diagnosed by a physical examination. The doctor will carefully assess the external and internal nose using a nasal speculum to carefully spread the nostrils together with a bright light to assess the interior of the nose and the septum.
Management of a deviated septum
Generally, a deviated septum is treated with surgery. In most cases, the procedure is carried out in an outpatient basis. The surgical procedure is performed via the nostrils, thus there are no evident bruising or incision seen.
It is important to note that the procedure might take 1-2 hours. Oftentimes, surgery is accompanied by rhinoplasty or sinus surgery.
Remember that the individual is at higher risk for serious nasal obstruction after surgery which later improves during the next several weeks. This is brought about by the swelling that arises during surgery.