Nasal septum deviation

A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall between your nasal passages (nasal septum) is displaced to one side.

Overview

A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall between your nasal passages (nasal septum) is displaced to one side. This is often congenital. It causes difficulty breathing, and may also increase susceptibility to sinus infections. Preventive measures include keeping the nasal passages moist, e.g. with humidifiers or creams.

Symptoms

Main symptoms

  • The bridge and tip of the nose aren't in line (crooked nose)
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose

Other symptoms

  • Frequent sinusitis
  • Frequent inflammation of the mouth, pharynx and tonsils
  • Snoring (you have to breathe through your mouth when sleeping)

Causes and treatment

Causes

  • Injury (e.g. blow to the nose)
  • Many people have a slightly crooked nasal septum
    • This can worsen when growing up

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Rhinoscopy (examination of nasal cavity with a small camera)
  • CT scan (computed tomography)
Possible therapies
  • Operation to correct the deviation (seldom necessary)

What can I do myself?

  • Install humidifiers during the cold season (prevents drying out of nasal passages)
  • Nasal ointment (prevents drying out of nasal passages)

Use anti-swelling nasal sprays for a maximum of 5 days (long-term use will cause drying out)

When to see a doctor?

  • Severe difficulty breathing through the nose

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CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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