The nasal septum divides the nasal cavity in two with each side covered by the mucous membrane. The perfect nasal septum is in the center with both the left and right sides equally sized. However it is estimated that perhaps as many as eighty percent of nasal septums are off-center. When it is severely off-center it is referred to as a deviated septum.
For many people the fact that they have an off-center or deviated septum doesn’t mean too much. But for some it can cause difficulty in breathing and in many it can cause difficulty with the drainage of the sinuses thereby resulting in sinus infections and other difficulties.
Symptoms of a deviated septum can vary with the individual and the severity can vary as well, but they include:
*Nasal congestion or blockage of one or both nostrils that interferes with drainage that is magnified when the person has a cold
*Snoring and difficulty breathing during sleep that can range from mild to very noisy sounds that can wake the individual as well as others in the household
*Nosebleeds that can occur during the day or night
*Frequent sinus infections because of nasal inflammation that cuts off air flow
*Frequent headaches and facial pain
*Postnasal drip that is increased if there are allergies or other problems
Some people only have symptoms when they have a cold or allergies but in some people the symptoms are chronic that occur frequently and don’t seem to go away. A visit to a physician specializing in this problem is recommended as surgery (a septoplasty) is an option and in most cases it will resolve the problem. In some instances this surgery might be combined with a rhinoplasty or with sinus surgery. These are considered routine surgeries with the results often relieving the problem.