Do you know someone who always seems to have nasal congestion? You figure it must be allergies, but they constantly have trouble breathing through their nose, and their nose always seems to be running. We’re talking twelve months out of the year! What else could be going on? Maybe you have some of the same symptoms. How to know if you have a deviated septum.
The septum in your nose is the thin tissue of cartilage that separates your two nostrils. If it is off center, curved, or some other misalignment, it can cause uncomfortable breathing problems. You can look at the top of your nose and follow the line. Is it perfectly straight or does it curve somewhat?
Many people are born with a deviated septum usually from a difficult birth, and others can acquire it from an injury or from playing contact sports. Some develop it as they grow and the tissue slowly leans to one side. This is the most common cause of a deviated septum.
Signs You Have a Deviated Septum
It is believed that 80% of adults have some misalignment but are not aware. When a deviated septum is severe, it can block one side of the nose and reduce airflow and lead to multiple issues.
Common signs include the following:
- Nasal congestion with one side being more congested than the other
- Difficulty breathing
- Recurrent sinus infections
- Facial pain
- Noisy breathing
- Sleep apnea
Try looking in a mirror and tilt your head back and note the size of your nostrils. Are they the same? Is one larger than the other? Between this visual test and whether you experience some of the above symptoms should tell you if you have a deviated septum.
If so, the next step is to contact an experienced ENT professional like Dr. Kevin Lunde in Plano, TX.
Treatments for a Deviated Septum
When symptoms are mild, over-the-counter medications may help to relieve them. You can try antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, and nasal decongestants. Only use the latter for three days in a row or you might trigger rebound congestion.
If symptoms are affecting your daily life, septoplasty surgery may be recommended. Dr. Kevin Lunde will reshape your septum as part of an outpatient procedure that takes about an hour.
No one will know you had this surgery as all the work is performed inside the nose.
You don’t have to live with breathing problems and continuous sinus infections when help is nearby.