Septal DeviationConveniently located to serve Chicago and North Shore

What is Septal Deviation?

Our noses are one of the most important organs we have. They are designed to filter and warm the air we breathe. The nasal septum runs down the middle of the nose, dividing the bone and cartilage into two compartments. If the septum is deviated, it can dramatically impact the nose’s function. Septal Deviation can be caused by genetics or trauma.

What is the Nasal Septum?

The nasal septum is a thin wall that separates your right and left nasal cavities. Ideally, it is situated in the center of your nose. However, it is estimated that 80 percent of all nasal septum’s are off-center making one or both of the nasal passages smaller. This may make it hard to breathe or impair nasal drainage.

Deviated Septum

Symptoms of a Deviated Nasal Septum:

Those with mild to moderate deviations may not experience any symptoms, while patients with severe septal deviation may have difficulties breathing through the nose – one of the most common symptoms. Other symptoms may include:

  • Blockage of one or both nostrils causing reduced airflow
  • Nasal congestion, sometimes only on one-side
  • Nosebleeds
  • Frequent sinus infections
  • Facial pain
  • Headaches
  • Postnasal drip
  • Snoring or difficulty breathing at night

What Causes Septal Deviation?

Septal deviations may result from nasal trauma, previous nasal surgery, or it is just the way the patient’s nose developed during childhood.

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How is A Deviated Septum Diagnosed?

Septal deviations can be diagnosed in one of three ways. The first will detect deviations in the front of the nose, while the second and third can detect deviations further back in the nasal passages.

  • Step 1 – Medical Examination: A simple examination will detect deviations that may be in front of the nose.
  • Step 2 – Nasal Endoscopy: A nasal endoscopy is performed in the office by sliding a tiny camera mounted on a slender telescope and passing it through the nostrils.
  • Step 3 – Imaging: A CT Scan may need to be performed, for visualization of the nasal cavity and the paranasal sinuses.

What Are the Treatment Options for A Deviated Septum?

Medications and treatments will not cure a deviated septum but can help ease symptoms. For severe septal deviation, surgery may be indicated. Below are non-surgical treatment options for symptom relief.

  • Allergy Treatment – If allergies are exacerbating the deviation, then patients may benefit from allergy treatment. Treating allergies will decrease the swelling of the lining of the septum and the surrounding tissue. Patients will notice less congestion, but it is important to keep in mind that this will not alter or fix the septal deviation.
  • Medications – can be used to ease symptoms. Some options include:
    • Decongestants
    • Antihistamines
    • Nasal Steroids Spray
    • Nasal Antihistamine Sprays

What Is A Septoplasty?

For patients with severe septal deviations, medications are usually less effective, and the patient may ultimately require surgery. A septoplasty or septal reconstruction is a procedure meant to straighten the deviated septal cartilage and bone. Septoplasty is an outpatient procedure and may be performed in combination with other nasal and sinus surgery.

within the septum. Septoplasty is an outpatient procedure and is performed entirely through the nose and leaves no external scars or bruising after the surgery.

Septoplasty Recovery

After receiving treatment for a deviated septum our patients generally need to remain home from work for a few days post-surgery.

Results of A Septoplasty?

Patients usually notice a significant improvement in their breathing after surgery. Symptoms such as snoring, chronic nosebleeds, and headaches are significantly may also improve.

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