About 80% of adults have a nasal septum that’s off center. However, it’s not considered to be a deviated septum unless it’s displaced enough to cause problems like nasal congestion and difficulty breathing. At Sinus & Allergy Wellness Center, Franklyn Gergits, DO, MS, has extensive experience correcting a deviated septum with minimally invasive surgery. If you suffer with chronic congestion, call one of the offices in Fountain Hills or Scottsdale, Arizona, or schedule an appointment online.
Your two nostrils are divided in half by bone and a thin piece of cartilage called the septum. Normally, the septum is located in the center of your nose.
When the septum is displaced or off-center, it’s called a deviated septum. A septum that’s severely displaced can block the nasal passage. As a result, airflow is limited, and it’s hard to breathe.
A septum that’s mildly displaced may not cause any symptoms. In some patients, a deviated septum worsens the symptoms normally caused by a cold or upper respiratory tract infection. The symptoms you may experience from a deviated septum include:
A deviated septum increases your risk of developing a sinus infection and chronic sinusitis. When that happens, you’ll have additional symptoms, such as sinus headaches and facial pain and pressure.
If your septum is only minimally deviated, antihistamines and decongestants may be all you need to maintain clear nasal passageways. Otherwise, there’s only one treatment: septoplasty.
Septoplasty is an outpatient surgical procedure that straightens your septum and ensures it’s in the middle of your nose. During your procedure, Dr. Gergits trims and repositions the tissue. In some cases, he may need to replace some of the cartilage.
Sometimes a deviated septum is caused by crooked bones pushing against the cartilage. If you have that problem, Dr. Gergits can reposition the bones, and if needed, he can place extra cartilage along the bones to maintain their position.
After your surgery, you’ll need to avoid blowing your nose, steer clear of strenuous activities, and sleep with your head elevated. It takes several days for the swelling to go down, but most patients are back to school or work in a week.
It takes time for the cartilage and bones inside your nose to heal. While they heal, their appearance may change slightly. The tissues are typically stable in 3-6 months. However, they can continue healing and changing for a year.
If you suffer with symptoms due to a deviated septum, call Sinus & Allergy Wellness Center or book an appointment online.