Your nasal septum is the area of bone and cartilage in the middle of your nasal cavity. If this part of your nose is crooked, this is called a deviated septum. You can be born with this condition or it can be caused by trauma to the nose (sports injury, car accident, etc.). It’s actually possible to have a deviated septum and not even know it until you get older.That’s because this condition can worsen as you get older and your nasal structures change.
Your nose changes just like other parts of your body. The nasal cartilage can become softer, weaker and brittle over time. This, along with the loss of elasticity of the nasal skin, can may your nose longer, which can impact the severity of your deviated septum.
A minor nasal misalignment may not impact your life. In fact, approximately 70-80% of people don’t have perfectly symmetrical nostrils!However, if there is a significant curve to your nasal septum, you may experience complications and discomforts such as:
- Breathing difficulties because air cannot properly flow in and out of your nose.
- Snoring because you breathe through your mouth when you sleep, causing your palate to vibrate.
- Obstruction of one nostril due to inflammation caused by allergies or a cold.
- Frequent sinus infections due to the collection of bacteria-filled mucus in your nasal cavity (because the mucus cannot flow out).
- Frequent nose bleeds because the nasal passage is dry.
Many people find ways to live with the discomforts of a deviated septum. But sometimes the complications are simply too severe. Other people simply don’t like the way their curved nose looks on their face. A procedure called septoplasty can be performed to straighten the nasal septum to provide relief. During the procedure, cartilage and/or bone may be removed, repositioned or replaced in order to create uniform nostril passages.
If you feel you might have a deviated septum, Dr. Michael Riesbergis an ENT doctor in Pensacola that can perform septoplasty to restore clear breathing. Contact Riesberg Institute by calling (850) 476-0700 or visiting our website.