Living with deviated septum

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Our nose is divided into two neat compartments. The wall making this separation is known as septum. At times, this line does not run neatly and precisely along the length of the nose, but deviates, leading to uneven split in the nostrils, and hence resulting in unequal nostril region.

Little deviations are not an issue, but if the evenness is profound, it is referred to as deviated septum. As nostrils enable the important task of breathing, the deviations interfere with this vital process. It is also common to have blocked nostril in this condition as well.

However, deviated septum is not always problematic; many people go years without experiencing symptoms of this condition.

Causes of deviated septum

Most of the time, people are born with this condition. But it can also result from some injury to the nose. In any case, the symptoms tend to aggravate with age, therefore it is important to consult the topĀ ENT specialist in Lahore for exploring treatment options.

Symptoms of deviations septum

The severity of the symptoms is contingent upon the level of deviation in the nostrils. In people with mild cases of deviation, symptoms are more common when during cold or allergies, which lead to the swelling of the tissue, leading to narrowing of the air passageway.

Moreover, the symptoms are more pronounced in young children as their nasal passageway is narrower than that of the adults, thereby putting them at a further disadvantage.

Common symptoms of this condition include:

Difficulty breathing:

Due to the reduced pathway for the air, breathing is also difficult.

Nosebleeds:

As the airpassageway is narrow for one of the nostrils, the pressure of circulation lies with the broader passageway. Moreover, the curvature in the septum also makes the passing of the air harder.

Consequently, the mucous membranes in the nostril dry out, which then suffers from frequent nosebleeds.

Obstructions in the nostril, or both nostrils:

Obstructions that lead to difficulty breathing are also a symptom of deviated septum. Iteffects becomes worse when the person has a cold or allergic reaction which contributes towards further narrowing of the nostrils.

Facial Pain

Due to the anatomical impositions caused by the deviation in the nasal cartilage, facial pain is common as well.

Sinus infections:

Due to obstructions, people with deviated septum are more likely to suffer from sinus infections. These infections are often resistant to medication as well.

Loud breathing:

It is very common for people with deviated septum to breath loudly, especially when sleeping. They also tend to snore as well. Due to the difficulty in breathing, some patients also suffer from sleep apnea as well.

Congestion:

Nasal congestion is also common in the patients. They also have postnasal drip.

Headaches:

The lack of circulation through one of the nostrils then leads to building up of pressure within the head. It consequently leads to headaches. Moreover, as deviated septum leads to frequent sinus infections, the choking of the sinuses also lead to headaches.

Sleeping on particular side:

Optimizing what room they have for breathing, people with deviated septum often have preferences of which side to turn to when sleeping in order to keep their bigger nostril open.

Diagnosis

For diagnosis, doctor requests for a proper history, especially in case of any injury to the region. They then carry out physical exam to observe inside of the nose using speculum and bright light.

Treatment options

If the symptoms of the condition are not very severe, the patient is not recommended much other than basic care that involves use of over-the-counter medication for alleviation of symptoms. Use of steroids to decrease inflammation, nasal dilators and decongestants is allowed.

Also, especially in case of allergic reaction, patients are recommended the use of antihistamines. Not a treatment per se but form of self-preservation is also to reduced the risk of exposure to allergens that make the condition worse.

Surgical intervention

If, however, deviated septum is very bothersome, patients might even have surgery done to remedy this condition. It is known as septoplasty.

This surgery involves making incision in the septum and remove the excess cartilage to make room in the nostril. It is a relatively safe procedure but involves certain risks as well.

These include changed shape of the nose, which is why many people get rhinoplasty done alongside as well. Other risks include decreased or complete loss of sense of smell, bleeding, septal hematoma, infection and hole in the septum.

Hence, be sure to enlist the help of only the Best ENT specialist in Lahore for carrying out this procedure.

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