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Breathe Freely: Unraveling the Mysteries of Deviated Septum

Mysteries Of Deviated Septum

Breathe Freely: Unraveling the Mysteries of Deviated Septum

Deviated septum is a condition that affects many individuals worldwide. At North Atlanta ENT & Allergy, we encounter numerous patients seeking relief from the symptoms associated with this condition. Keep reading to learn more about what a deviated septum is, its causes, common symptoms, available treatments, and how seeking professional help can lead to improved quality of life.

What is a Deviated Septum?

The nasal septum is a thin, cartilage and bone partition that divides the nasal cavity into two nostrils. In a healthy individual, this septum is straight and centered, allowing for equal airflow through both nostrils. However, a deviated septum occurs when this partition is significantly shifted to one side, obstructing the nasal passages and potentially leading to various issues.

Causes of Deviated Septum

There is no single cause attributed to a deviated septum. Most commonly, it results from either congenital factors, meaning it was present from birth, or it develops due to a nasal injury, such as a broken nose. Certain individuals may also experience a gradual deviation over time due to the natural aging process, but this is relatively uncommon.

Symptoms of Deviated Septum

The severity of symptoms can vary widely from person to person and can range from mild to quite bothersome. Common symptoms of a deviated septum include:

  • Nasal congestion: One of the primary symptoms is difficulty breathing through one or both nostrils due to the blockage caused by the deviated septum.
  • Recurrent sinus infections: The irregular nasal anatomy can lead to poor drainage of mucus from the sinuses, increasing the likelihood of sinus infections.
  • Nosebleeds: The drying of the nasal passages and the presence of sharp edges from the deviated septum can lead to nosebleeds.
  • Facial pain and pressure: The obstruction of airflow can result in facial pain, particularly in the cheeks and around the eyes.
  • Snoring and sleep disturbances: A deviated septum can contribute to snoring, leading to sleep disturbances for both the affected individual and their sleeping partner.
  • Reduced sense of smell: An altered nasal anatomy can affect the ability to smell and taste.

Treatment Options

When a deviated septum causes significant discomfort or disrupts daily life, seeking medical attention is essential. Depending on the severity of the condition and the impact on the patient’s quality of life, various treatment options may be recommended:

  • Medications: Over-the-counter or prescription nasal sprays may help reduce inflammation and congestion, providing temporary relief.
  • Septoplasty: This surgical procedure aims to straighten the deviated septum, restoring proper airflow and alleviating symptoms.
  • Turbinate reduction: If the nasal turbinates, small structures in the nasal passages, are enlarged, they can contribute to congestion. Turbinate reduction can be performed alongside septoplasty for more comprehensive results.
  • Balloon Sinuplasty: For patients with chronic sinusitis due to a deviated septum, balloon sinuplasty can be a minimally invasive option to improve sinus drainage.
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy: In cases where a deviated septum contributes to sleep apnea, CPAP therapy may be necessary to maintain open airways during sleep.

A deviated septum is a common condition that can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. If you experience persistent nasal congestion, snoring, frequent sinus infections, or other related symptoms, contact our office at 678-798-8014 to schedule your visit today.

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