- Do you have a hard time breathing through your nose?
- Have you ever sustained any nasal trauma?
- Can you breathe through one side of your nose better than the other?
- Do you have to sleep with your mouth open?
- Are you unable to get enough air through your nose during exercise?
- Does your voice always sound like you have a cold?
About Septal Deviations
- Your nasal septum is a wall made of cartilage and bone that separates your nasal cavities into right and left sides.
- It is not unusual for a nasal septum to be slightly off midline although if the deviation is far enough to one side it may cause nasal obstruction.
- You can be born with this problem or it may occur due to prior trauma.
- Steroid nasal sprays may help to decongest your nose although depending on the degree of the septal deviation these may have limited effectiveness. No medical management (sprays or pills) will correct the actual septal deformity - only surgery.
- Septoplasty is the name of the operation performed to correct a deviated nasal septum. The surgeon straightens the nasal septum by trimming, repositioning and replacing cartilage or bone to allow better airflow.
- This minimally invasive surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis, so you'll likely be able to go home the same day.
- The most frequent side effects after surgery are temporary nasal discomfort, congestion or drainage which may last several days. Temporary numbness or sensitivity of the upper teeth may also occur.
- More serious risks of surgery are very rare but may including excessive bleeding, a hole in the nasal septum or change in the external appearance of the nose.
- Elevating your head at night after surgery will minimize swelling and improve comfort.