Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms

Deviated Septum Overview

What is a deviated septum?
A person with a deviated septum has an abnormality, in the nose where the nasal septum, the thin structure separating the two sides of the nose, is not in the middle of the nose. In as many as 80% of people the nasal septum is displaced to one side, making one nasal passage smaller. Severe deviated septum can block airflow through one nasal passage bad enough to cause symptoms. Problems include chronic congestion, difficulty breathing, nosebleeds, and repeated sinus infections.

What are the symptoms of a deviated septum?
The symptoms of a deviated septum include obstruction of the drainage from the sinuses, difficulty breathing and sinusitis.

How does the doctor treat a deviated septum?
The treatment of a deviated septum includes surgery to reposition the septum to its proper place. Medications such as decongestants, antihistamines or nasal cortisone sprays may also provide temporary relief by shrinking the membrane thus making it easier to breath. Those with a severely deviated septum, or are unresponsive to medical therapy, may benefit from surgery to correct the nasal septum.

Continue to Deviated Septum Symptoms

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Deviated Septum References
  1. Jang YJ, Wang JH, Lee BJ. Classification of the deviated nose and its treatment. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008 Mar;134(3):311-5. [18347259]
  2. Li HY, Lin Y, Chen NH, Lee LA, Fang TJ, Wang PC. Improvement in quality of life after nasal surgery alone for patients with obstructive sleep apnea and nasal obstruction. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008 Apr;134(4):429-33. [18427011]
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