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The nasal septum, comprising cartilage and bone, divides the nasal cavity. A deviated nasal septum occurs when this partition is shifted away from the centre, often leading to various discomforts. Let's delve into understanding, treating, and preventing this condition.
What is a Deviated Nasal Septum?
A deviated nasal septum refers to an asymmetrical or displaced partition between the nostrils. This deviation can be congenital or result from injury, causing breathing difficulties or nosebleeds. A deviated nasal septum is a condition where the nasal septum is displaced to one side. The nasal septum is the bone and cartilage that divides the nasal cavity in half. A deviated septum can make one nasal passage smaller than the other, which can make it difficult to breathe.
Septal deviation symptoms include Difficulty breathing, Headaches, Facial pain, Nasal congestion, and Nasal discharge. If symptoms affect your quality of life, you may consider surgery to fix a deviated septum. A septoplasty straightens the nasal septum by trimming, repositioning, and replacing cartilage, bone, or both. A deviated nasal septum can be present from birth or caused by an injury. Symptoms include:
- Blocked nose
- Reduced sense of smell
- Frequent sinus infections
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Breathing problems
How do Doctors Treat the Deviated Nasal Septum?
The nasal septum is straightened and moved to the middle of the nose during a standard septoplasty. To properly reposition the septum, the surgeon might need to cut and remove some of its sections. Surgery to realign and realign the nasal septum is known as septoplasty, and it is the most common therapy for a deviated septum. Parts of the septum may need to be cut and removed by the surgeon during the surgery to replace them again. The degree of improvement is based on how severe the divergence is.
- Over the Counter Medications:
- Decongestants: These medications help reduce nasal congestion by shrinking swollen tissues, providing temporary relief from congestion caused by a deviated septum.
- Nasal Steroid Sprays: These sprays can alleviate inflammation and reduce symptoms like nasal congestion and irritation. They work by decreasing swelling in the nasal passages.
- Nasal Strips:
- External nasal strips are adhesive strips applied to the outside of the nose. They work by mechanically holding the nostrils open, widening the nasal passages, and aiding in improving airflow.
- Saline Sprays:
- Saline nasal sprays or rinses help by moisturising and clearing nasal passages, reducing dryness, and assisting in the removal of irritants and allergens.
- This surgical procedure aims to straighten the deviated septum. During septoplasty, the surgeon accesses the nasal septum and reshapes or removes portions of cartilage or bone to correct the deviation. The goal is to improve airflow and alleviate breathing difficulties.
- Sometimes performed in conjunction with septoplasty, rhinoplasty focuses on the nasal structure's aesthetic appearance. It can address both functional issues related to a deviated septum and cosmetic concerns by reshaping the nose for better symmetry and appearance.
Determining the Treatment Approach:
- Consultation with an ENT Specialist: An ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist will evaluate the severity of the deviation and associated symptoms. Based on the assessment, they will recommend suitable treatment options.
- Personalised Treatment Plans: Treatment plans are tailored to each individual's specific condition and needs. The doctor considers factors like the extent of deviation, the impact on breathing, and associated symptoms while determining the best course of action.
- Recovery Period: Following surgical interventions like septoplasty or rhinoplasty, patients are advised on post-operative care, which may include nasal packing removal, managing discomfort, and adhering to specific activity restrictions for optimal healing.
- Follow-up Visits: Regular follow-up visits are essential to monitor healing progress, address any concerns, and ensure the effectiveness of the treatment.
How to Prevent Deviated Nasal Septum?
By taking these steps, you can avoid nasal injuries that can result in a deviated septum. When participating in contact sports like football and volleyball, wear a helmet or a midface mask. When travelling in a motorised vehicle, buckle up.
- Protective Measures to Avoid Trauma:
- Safety Gear: When engaging in physical activities or sports that pose a risk of facial injury, use appropriate protective equipment like helmets or faceguards to shield the nose and face.
- Safe Environment: Take precautions to prevent accidents in workplaces or home settings. Ensure a safe environment to minimise the likelihood of falls or collisions that may cause nasal injuries.
2. Prompt Management of Nasal Infections and Allergies:
- Hygiene Practices: Maintain good hygiene, including regular handwashing, to reduce the risk of upper respiratory infections that might lead to nasal inflammation and contribute to septal deviations.
- Allergy Management: Properly manage allergies by avoiding triggers, using prescribed medications, and seeking medical advice to prevent chronic nasal congestion or inflammation that could exacerbate existing septal deviations.
3. Avoidance of Harmful Habits:
- Nasal Irritation: Avoid inserting foreign objects into the nose, as this can potentially cause irritation, inflammation, or injury to the nasal septum.
- Cigarette Smoke: Steer clear of exposure to cigarette smoke and other irritants that can cause nasal irritation or inflammation.
4. Proper Nasal Hygiene:
- Nasal Irrigation: Use saline nasal sprays or rinses to maintain nasal moisture, clear out irritants, and potentially reduce inflammation.
- Humidification: In dry climates or seasons, consider using a humidifier to keep the air moist, preventing nasal dryness and potential irritation.
Seeking Professional Advice:
- Regular Check-ups: Even if there are no apparent septal deviation symptoms, periodic check-ups with a healthcare professional, especially in cases of a history of nasal trauma or persistent nasal issues, can help in early detection and prompt management.
What to Do if Experiencing Symptoms of Deviated Nasal Septum?
If symptoms like nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, or recurrent nosebleeds persist, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional. MediBuddy offers access to top doctors for guidance and personalised treatment options. Surgical repair. If you still experience symptoms despite medical therapy, you may consider surgery to correct your deviated septum (septoplasty). During a typical septoplasty, the nasal septum is straightened and repositioned in the centre of the nose.
Remember, understanding the condition and seeking timely medical advice are crucial steps toward effective management and relief. Empower yourself with knowledge, explore available treatments, and prioritise your well-being with MediBuddy's comprehensive platform. For more in-depth guidance or assistance, schedule an appointment with our specialists today.