As incredible as it may sound, according to the Mayo Clinic close to 80% of the entire population have their septum displaced. This means that the thin wall separating the nasal passage does not actually divide the nostrils into two equal halves – the septum is more inclined on one side, causing the septum to be ‘deviated’.
You may already be aware of several conditions which deviated septum symptoms ultimately result in. While the two main causes of deviated septum are birth defect of the nose and nasal injury, it is also true that all the people with deviated septum may never need to visit a doctor. However when the deviated septum symptoms get severe, then it manifests in a variety of conditions.
5 Common Deviated Septum Symptoms
- Nasal congestion. If the deviated septum blocks one of both sides of the nose, it will disturb normal air flow which may lead to frequent nasal congestion.
- Nosebleeds and nasal discharge. Because of deviated septum, the upper surface of the septum dries out causing nosebleeds. The mucus also gets stuck in the nasal cavity causing ‘drips’ down the throat. The blocked nasal discharge can also be the breeding ground for infection.
When post-nasal drip is one of the deviated septum symptoms, sore throat may also be present that is often painful. The discomfort associated with common cold or seasonal allergies usually get heightened by a deviated septum.
- Loud and noisy breathing. One of the very common deviated septum symptoms, this is often seen with infants and small children.
- Deviated septum symptoms may show up in the form of frequent sinus infections, caused by blocked mucus in the sinus cavity.
- Facial pain. Blocked sinus often causes facial pain, accompanied by headaches, and pain around the eyes.
How to Check For Deviated Septum if You’ve Had a Nasal Injury
As mentioned earlier, the deviated septum symptoms usually go unnoticed if the deviation is minor. However, if you have suffered a nasal injury and wondering whether you have developed deviated septum symptoms, there are certain things you could do to detect its presence:
- Check your ability to breathe through your nostrils, and pay particular attention if you can feel any obstruction in one or both the nostrils. The right time to test this is when you have a cold.
- Keep a close watch on the other deviated septum symptoms like nosebleeds, frequent sinus infections, disturbed sleep due to snoring or postnasal drip.
- Go for a physical examination of your nose. The doctor uses a bright light and a nasal speculum to spread out the nostrils and examine the inside cavity of the nose. He or she can then determine whether you have deviated septum and also brief you regarding its severity. You can then proceed for treatment according to his or her recommendation.
How Can I Alleviate My Deviated Septum Symptoms?
Some of the deviated septum symptoms may be reduced with the help of decongestants or antihistamines. However, these medications will not cure the problem but only lessen the intensity by reducing the congestion, inflammation of the nasal passages, etc.
Some consider surgery to be the only permanent solution for deviated septum but this can only be done when the deviated septum symptoms are severe causing serious breathing difficulty.