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What Is a Deviated Septum?

A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall (nasal septum) between your nasal passages is displaced to one side, making one nostril smaller than the other. The condition can lead to various issues such as nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, nosebleeds, and recurring sinus infections. Understanding the causes and available treatment options for a deviated septum is essential for managing its symptoms and improving overall quality of life. Let’s explore the causes and treatment options for a deviated septum in more detail.

Causes of Deviated Septum

A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall (nasal septum) between your nasal passages is displaced to one side, making one nasal passage smaller than the other. The most common causes of a deviated septum include:

  • Trauma: A nose injury from contact sports, accidents, or falls can lead to a deviated septum.
  • Birth Defect: Some people may be born with a deviated septum due to genetics or fetal development.
  • Aging: The nasal septum can gradually bend and shift over time, leading to a deviated septum.
  • Inflammation: Conditions like allergies or sinusitis can cause nasal swelling, which may result in a deviated septum.

Living with a deviated septum can lead to breathing difficulties and other issues, so understanding its causes is essential in seeking appropriate treatment.

Remember, understanding the causes is the first step towards effectively managing a deviated septum.

By addressing the underlying cause, individuals can make informed decisions about their treatment options.

Treatment Options for Deviated Septum

When it comes to treating a deviated septum, several options are available to help alleviate symptoms and improve breathing. Some of the most common treatment options include:

  • Medication: Over-the-counter decongestants can help reduce nasal congestion and swelling, making it easier to breathe. Nasal steroid sprays may also be prescribed to reduce inflammation and congestion.
  • Septoplasty: This is a surgical procedure to straighten the nasal septum. It is often recommended for severe cases of a deviated septum that do not respond to other treatments.
  • Balloon Sinuplasty: A less invasive procedure compared to traditional sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty can help to widen the nasal passages and improve airflow.
  • Rhinoplasty: While primarily known as a cosmetic procedure, rhinoplasty can also be used to correct a deviated septum and improve nasal function.

It’s important to consult with an ENT specialist to determine the most suitable treatment option based on the severity of the deviated septum and individual health factors.