The nasal septum is the wall of bone and cartilage that divides the nasal cavity into halves. Ideally, the septum is exactly in the center and separates the left and right passageways of the nose into two equal sides. A septum is considered deviated when it is shifted significantly off-center, physically obstructing airflow.
This condition is not usually noticeable when looking at the external appearance of the nose, though it can create a deflection of the lower nose in some cases, often to the opposite side of airway obstruction. More commonly, however, it can create difficulty breathing through the nose and can result in dryness and bleeding where the air repeatedly hits it.
A deviated septum can also be an underlying structural cause of frequent sinus infections. Read more in the article Three Factors That Lead To Chronic Nasal And Sinus Problems And How To Fix Them.
A deviated septum may cause
- Blockage of one or both nasal breathing passages
- Nasal congestion
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Frequent sinus infections
- Facial pain
- Noisy breathing during sleep in infants and young children
- Snoring in adults
- Visible deformity of the nose
If surgical intervention is needed to correct a deviated septum, the ENT doctors at CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat may recommend septoplasty. This safe and effective procedure is performed entirely through the nostrils.