You breathe in and out and the air flows freely through two evenly divided passageways in your nasal cavity — unless you have a deviated septum. If the tissue that divides your nasal cavity into nostrils (your septum) is off center, you may encounter issues that require treatment, depending upon the degree of the deviation.
As one of the top ear, nose, and throat specialists in the area, Dr. Cecil Yeung and Dr. Marcus Hershey at Houston Sinus Surgery has extensive experience helping patients overcome the complications that can come with a deviated septum.
Here’s a look at some of those issues, whether you can benefit from treatment, and what the treatments for a deviated septum may entail.
The basics of a deviated septum
Under ideal conditions, the bone and cartilage that make up your septum split your nasal cavity into two, equal-sized spaces that allow air to flow freely in and out of your nose.
This ideal is far from the norm, however, as up to 80% of people have septums that are off center, creating nostrils that differ in size.
There are many reasons why people have deviated septums. Many are born with the issue, while others develop deviated septums because of injury or aging (the cartilage breaks down).
With mild cases, a deviated septum generally doesn’t pose any issues. The more the septum deviates, however, problems can crop up, such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Frequent sinus infections
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Mouth breathing
Again, these symptoms can range from mild to severe, and whether to seek treatment depends entirely upon their severity.
Treating a deviated septum
If you’re experiencing any of the problems we mentioned above, and your quality of life or health is affected, you should come see us. Our first step is to review your symptoms and perform an exam, during which we can assess whether a deviated septum is to blame. If it is, we can discuss treatment options with you.
If the deviation is mild or moderate, we may recommend treatments that address your symptoms, such as antihistamines, steroids, or decongestants.
These treatments, however, are only stop-gap measures and they won’t correct the underlying problem.
If you’d prefer a more sustainable solution for your deviated septum, we offer a simple surgery called a septoplasty. During your septoplasty, which we can usually perform right here in our offices under local anesthesia, the septum will be accessed through your nose and corrects the deviation.
Recovery from a septoplasty is fairly straightforward, as we don’t pack your nose with bandages. Instead, you simply give your nose time to heal and steer clear of strenuous activities for a week or so.
Once your nose heals, you should be able to take a deep breath in and out, and the complications that once stemmed from your deviated septum should be gone.
To see if you have a deviated septum, and to learn about the treatment options if you do, call (713) 795-4886 or book an appointment online with Houston Sinus Surgery today.