Nasal septal deviation: Impact trauma is the most common cause for a nasal septum deviation. The most common type of impact trauma causing the condition is a blow to the face. The condition can also be a congenital disorder caused by compression of the nose during childbirth. The displacement of the septum is a common disorder of the nose.
The separation between the two nostrils of the nasal cavity is provided by the bone and cartilage piece that is called the septum. The correct alignment for the septum is for it to be placed centrally in the nasal cavity creating two equal and symmetrical nostrils. When the septum is “deviated” it is not centrally located in the nasal cavity. Instead the cartilaginous ridge leans one way or the other leaving one of the nostrils obstructed partially.
Poor drainage of the sinuses, difficulty breathing, sleep apnea, abnormal snoring, headaches and bloody noses are all common effects of a nasal septal deviation. When sleep apnea is presenting the individual has short periods of not breathing while sleeping. The individual will “not breathe” for the length of one or more breaths. The pattern repeats itself multiple times while the individual sleeps.
Individuals who snore as a result of a nasal septal deviation are snoring abnormally. It is often drastic in nature. It can often be described as louder/longer and more disruptive to normal sleep patterns of the individual experiencing the snoring and others sleeping nearby.
Slight deviation from the centerline is normal. But the problem occurs when a septal deviations is drastic enough so the shift away from the centerline is creating a negative affect on the patient. Individuals can often live with a nasal septal deviation for many year without experiencing any negative effects or realizing it is a potential issue.
Treatment: The condition known as nasal septal deviation becomes an issue when it results in pain. Patients who are unaware of the problem do not need medical treatment for a deviated septum.
A septoplasty can be performed by a surgeon in order to clear any obstruction created by a deviated septum. Entering through the nostril it only takes an experienced surgeon an hour to remove the obstruction. It may take the patient from 2 days to 4 weeks to reach a full recovery post-surgery.
Summary: Many express concerns regarding lack of air flow in affected nostrils when nasal septal deviations are visually apparent. One nostril may often appear drastically smaller than the other. This is common. Mild bends away from the centerline are normal and are not recognized as a medical concern or condition.