Health

What You Need to Know About a Deviated Septum 

Rhinoplasty is the number one most popularly performed elective plastic surgery every year, and the reason for this is more than just aesthetics.

While it’s true that the majority of rhinoplasty is performed to improve the appearance of the nose, it can also be performed to help a person have a more ample and uninterrupted airflow in their nasal passageways, allowing them to breathe better.

This condition of blocked nasal passageways is known as a deviated septum, a condition that is all too common. Sometimes a person goes their whole life without knowing they have a deviated septum, while others require surgery. In some cases, insurance will cover the cost of rhinoplasty to treat the condition, but not always.

What is a Deviated Septum?

Your septum is the tissue that separates your nasal passageways from each other, allowing for airflow to more evenly flow in and out of the nose. Ideally, the airflow levels would be perfectly even in both nostrils; however, in more cases than not, this is not the case. When the septum pushes, curves, or bends to one side, this is known as a deviated septum.

A deviated septum is a very common condition, with approximately 80% of the population having it in some capacity.

How to Tell if You Have a Deviated Septum

The easiest way to tell if you have a deviated septum is whether or not you have more difficulty breathing in one nostril than the other. The difficulty breathing can be increased when having a cold or during allergy flare-ups. In most cases, the deviation will be mild enough that it does not need correction.

There are other signs of a deviated septum, including:

Headaches

A lack of airflow combined with a buildup of pressure in the nose can cause chronic headaches that seemingly have no other cause.

Chronic Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are a common side effect of a deviated septum, as the lack of airflow in the passageways can cause a buildup of irritants and dryness in the nose, causing cracking and bleeding. This is especially true when living in dryer conditions or during winter.

Chronic Colds and Sinus Infections

Relating to irritants collecting in the nose, chronic colds and infections are also common with a deviated septum. Usually starting as just a mucus build-up, the blockages worsen until they become

Loud Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Breathing problems related to a deviated septum do not simply stop when a person goes to bed. In fact, it causes further issues such as loud snoring and sleeps apnea. This is due to the muscles in your throat working extra hard trying to compensate for the lack of airflow through the nostrils, causing vibrations, and in some cases, closure.

What is Septoplasty?

Septoplasty is a form of rhinoplasty that specifically treats the septum to help encourage proper breathing through the nasal passageways. Unlike traditional rhinoplasty, septoplasty does not change the appearance of the nose unless it is required when re-arranging bumps and bends that are obstructing the airflow.

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