Fast Facts About a Deviated Septum

Who: Anyone can have a deviated septum! In fact, about 80% of the population has some degree of this condition.

What: A septum is the little piece of cartilage that divides the two nostrils. When the septum deviates, it moves slightly off-center, causing the nose to appear crooked.

When: Because the condition is so common, it is usually only treated when the patient has difficulty breathing as a result of their deviated septum. The condition alone doesn’t usually cause breathing problems, but when paired with in-air irritants that cause swelling inside of the nasal cavity, treatment may be recommended.

Where: The septum can deviate to either side. In fact, when an AOC physician examines a patient, they may ask whether or not breathing is worse on one side or the other. This will determine if the deviated septum is the cause of the breathing problem.

Why: There are many reasons why people could have a deviated septum. It may be a genetic trait passed on to patients from their parents. It may also be the result of complications during childbirth or from an injury. In some cases, a condition like Marfan Syndrome may be causing the deviation.

In order to treat a deviated symptom, the ear, nose, and throat experts at AOC Physicians may first recommend conservative measures. They may recommend a nasal steroid spray to help reduce inflammation. If the physician believes surgery is necessary, the physician may recommend a procedure called a septoplasty.

Septoplasty is a minimally invasive surgery used to straighten out the cartilage. It is an outpatient procedure that typically takes an hour to perform. In many cases, the patient can return home the same day. Not only can the procedure improve nasal function, but the straightening of the septum may provide cosmetic benefits by bringing symmetry to the face.

Recovery from this procedure takes about one week. Patients can return to work or school following the physician’s post-operative instruction and when they are comfortable. Patients should avoid strenuous activity and blowing their nose while the body heals and swelling goes down.

Arizona Otolaryngology Consultants (AOC) is a comprehensive ENT clinic that provides care for all diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses. The physicians at AOC have the highest level of training and expertise in ENT care and ENT subspecialty care, which includes the management of pediatric airway, cancer, skull base surgery, advanced head and neck surgical and reconstructive procedures, craniofacial surgery and more. Call 602-264-4834 to request an appointment today! 

The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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