Deviated Nasal Septum
The nasal septum is the part of the nose that separates the two airways and the nostrils. A deviated septum is when there is a shift from the midline or center position.
Deviations of the nasal septum may develop during growth or by trauma due to a fall, a blow to the nose or surgery that further exaggerates the deviation.
These deviations are common, and for the most part, cause no symptoms and require no treatment. However, the septal deviation may be severe enough to obstruct the passage of air through the nostrils. This obstruction may predispose the patient to sinusitis, infection and epistaxis (nose bleeds).
Treatment of a deviated septum is based on the patient's symptoms. It may include analgesics (pain medications) to relieve headaches, decongestants to reduce secretions, antibiotics to eliminate a suspected infection, and corrective surgery for the more persistent, troublesome symptoms.
Corrective surgery may consist of reconstruction of the nasal septum by repositioning the nasal septal cartilage, thus relieving the nasal obstruction. Other surgical procedures include rhinoplasty to correct nasal structure deformity and septoplasty to relieve nasal obstruction and enhance cosmetic appearance.
Surgical complications are relatively rare, however, there is the possibility of hemorrhage (bleeding), infection, and further deformity. While most patients achieve relief of nasal obstruction, some may have persistent and recurrent nasal obstruction.
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