What Is a Deviated Septum and How Can It Be Fixed?
Did you know between 70% to 80% of people have some sort of septal deviation? For most people, this condition causes little to no symptoms. However, if a deviated symptom is more serious, then it can cause complete nasal obstruction.
If you’ve experienced this, then you know that it makes breathing next to impossible through the affected nostril. The good news is that there are treatment options available.
In this article, we’ll explore the condition of a deviated septum and give you some advice on how to fix it. Let’s get started!
What Is a Deviated Septum and How Can You Notice It?
A deviated septum is a misalignment of the nasal passages. It occurs when the septum, which is a thin layer of cartilage and bone that separates your nostrils, is pushed to one side. As we mentioned before, a good percentage of people are born with a misalignment.
And, in most cases, it can’t even be noticed. However, others are serious health conditions that can cause respiratory problems. There are a variety of things that can cause a deviated septum. For many people, this condition develops before birth during fetal development.
In other cases, it can occur when serious damage or trauma is done to the nose. For example, if you break or fracture your nose, then it can cause a deviated septum. The final cause of a deviated septum is simple aging.
As we get older our facial structures change. This can make deviated septums that were once unnoticeable much worse. So, how do you know whether or not you have a deviated septum? Here are some of the ways you can tell:
- Problems breathing, especially when you’re working out
- Noticeable congestion on one side of your nose
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Facial pain around your nose
- Chronic sinus infections
- Nasal drip (this is when you notice mucus dripping to the back of your throat)
- Sleeping problems
What Are Your Treatment Options For a Deviated Septum?
If the issue is minor enough, then there might be some non-surgical options for dealing with your deviated septum. Typically these solutions deal more with the symptoms than the root of the problem.
As such, you can try taking things like decongestants, nasal rinses, and antihistamines. However, it’s important to remember that these will likely only be temporary solutions. And, they can become less effective over time. For example, if you use decongestants regularly, then they can quickly become less useful.
If you’ve tried everything and you still have difficulty breathing, then it’s time to see a doctor that specializes in a procedure that straightens your septum. This procedure is known as either a septoplasty or a septorhinoplasty.
If the surgery goes well, then you’ll get much better airflow to whichever nostril was closed off. However, what is the procedure like? To give you a better idea we’ll go into it in detail.
What Is the Septoplasty Procedure Like?
When you go into plan your surgery, the surgeon will likely ask you to stop taking blood thinner two weeks before the septoplasty. These include things like ibuprofen and aspirin. The night before the procedure you also should eat anything or drink anything after midnight.
This is to prevent a choking hazard if you become nauseous from the anesthesia. The septoplasty procedure will take between thirty minutes and two hours.
During the surgery, you will be placed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia. Your doctor will decide which option is best for your specific needs. During a usual septoplasty, the surgeon will make a small incision on the side of your nose with the most blockage. They will then lift the mucous membrane.
This is a small layer of protective tissue that surrounds the septum. Once the septum is exposed, the surgeon will move it back into a correct position. Sometimes bone or cartilage prevents the septum from being moved. If this is the case, then the surgeon will scrape away at these layers until they can be properly moved back into place.
Once it’s straight enough, the surgeon will reposition the mucous membrane. They will likely use stitches to seal the membrane. In some cases that might also put splints in your nose to hold the correct position.
After a week or two, you can go back into the surgeon’s office to get these splints removed. Once the surgical site has fully healed you should be able to feel a noticeable change in your breathing.
How to Choose a Surgeon That’s Right For the Job
When it comes to a serious surgery like a septoplasty, you should make sure that you research options before proceeding. If you aren’t careful, then you could get an unethical surgeon who makes the problem worse instead of better.
Look for a surgeon that’s double board-certified and comes with good reviews from other patients. They should also be as transparent as possible when it comes to pricing.
There are a lot of hidden costs that accompany this type of surgery. These costs cover things like the surgeon’s fee, post and pre-op care, anesthesia, and the surgical center. As such you should find a surgeon that’s as upfront about the septorhinoplasty cost as possible.
Want More Content? Keep Reading
We hope this article helped you learn more about deviated septums and your treatment options. A badly deviated septum not only affects you when you’re exercising, but it can also make day-to-day living feel impossible.
As such, you deserve the best treatment when it comes to fixing it. So, find a good surgeon that has experience with this procedure so that you can get back to normal.
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