The nasal septum is cartilage that forms a thin wall-like structure in the nostril that divides the nasal cavity into two separated halves. Sometimes the nasal septum is deformed or deviated from what it should look like. Most of the time this deformity causes no real problems but sometimes it causes the nasal passageway to be blocked in one or both halves of the nasal cavity. When this occurs it is referred to as a deviated nasal septum and can cause a person severe medical problems.
This can be caused by a defect at birth or an injury to the nose. The deformity of the nasal septum may or may not be visible from outside of the nose but a person will experience several symptoms if they have a deviated nasal septum. Some of these deviated nasal septum symptoms include nosebleeds, headaches, reoccurring sinus infections or colds and snoring. A doctor will be able to diagnose a deviated nasal septum by doing an examination of the nose and he will be able to observe the blockage.
A doctor will prescribe a few different types of medication that may work to elevate some of the deviated septum symptoms. These medications include decongestants which will help to reduce congestion in the nasal cavity, antihistamines which help to diminish cold symptoms and nasal cortisone spray which can help with inflammation. These medications can be useful in helping to reduce snoring and the effects caused by sinus infections and colds. The medications may help manage the symptoms of a deviated nasal septum but they are not a cure.
The only permanent deviated septum treatment is to have surgery. The deviated nasal septum surgery is called septoplasty and will be performed by a surgeon who specializes in the ear, nose and throat. During this surgery, the cartilage of the nasal septum is repositioned so it will closely resemble what it should have looked like. Depending on the severity of the damage to the nasal septum the cartilage and bone may need to be moved. The surgery usually lasts about one hour and results can be seen as soon as the swelling goes down which generally takes about six weeks.
Most of the time the deviated nasal septum surgery will be very successful at treating the deviated nasal septum. The surgery is able to eliminate the nosebleeds, nasal obstruction and deviated nasal septum snoring. Unfortunately, most patients still continue to have some nasal and sinus conditions like allergies and sinus infections but they may not be as often or as severe.