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.
- The bridge and tip of the nose aren't in line (crooked nose)
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Frequent sinusitis
- Frequent inflammation of the mouth, pharynx and tonsils
- Snoring (you have to breathe through your mouth when sleeping)
Causes and treatment
- 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
- Rhinoscopy (examination of nasal cavity with a small camera)
- CT scan (computed tomography)
- 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