Septum deviation refers to a medical condition in which the nasal septum or the bone and cartilage that divide the nasal cavity in half, gets displaced to one side. This makes one nasal passage narrow, causing difficulty in breathing. Any person can suffer from nasal septum deviation, irrespective of age and gender.
Infants may develop this condition during fetal developmental changes or as a result of nose-injury at the time of birth. In children and adults, septum deviation occurs after injury or trauma to nose during sports activities, playing or other accidents. Most of the septum deviation cases are asymptomatic, whereas others may show symptoms including;
- Nasal obstruction and congestion at one side
- Nose-bleeding and discharge
- Recurrent sinus infections
- Whistling noise during breathing
- Facial pain
- Tendency to sleep on a side opposing blocked nasal passage
- Noisy breathing and snoring while sleep
- Sleep apnea
Diagnosis And Treatment
Septum deviation can be diagnosed through a physical examination of nasal septum by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist using a speculum and bright light. Treatment is required only when there are severe breathing and/or other related problems.
Medications like nasal sprays, decongestants and antihistamines are commonly used to relieve its symptoms. Despite these medications, if symptoms are experienced, a surgical procedure termed as ‘septoplasty’ is recommended. Septoplasty helps to correct the misaligned nasal septum and also improves breathing.