80% of the population in the United States has some form of septum deviation. Some cases are minor, and the complications are either rarely felt or only felt in the flu, cold or allergy season; others are major, enabling a wide range of uncomfortable conditions present in daily life.
There have been a lot of advances in this particular field of study. Medication has evolved to combat some of the conditions associated with having a deviated septum; different tools were created to help people with sleep apnea find their ideal position on the bed; and lastly, in case of a serious morphological defect, there is surgery to correct the septum and to increase the airflow.
All these advancements were made with the objective of improving your health, reducing your discomfort and your suffering. You don't have to keep experiencing pain. To help you find the right solution, we've compiled some common causes for pain in areas closely related to your deviated septum, and the best ways to solve them.
Can a deviated septum cause ear pain?
A deviated septum is prone to nasal blockages due to allergies and tissue swelling. All the mucus inside will build up in your airways and start to create pressure inside your head. During this time, you'll notice that feeling of having blocked ears, reducing your hearing ability and causing discomfort.
The reason behind this is related to the middle ear, also known as the Eustachian tube. This tube connects your ears to the throat, and its function is to regulate the pressure inside your ears, so the difference between the inside of your head and the outside world isn't dramatically different.
When a nasal blockage occurs, mucus can accumulate around this connection, preventing the correct pressure and ventilation control of your ears. If this is felt for a long time, you might start to develop ear pain, and in some extreme cases even an infection.
In the minor discomforts we describe above, you can try to swallow, yawning or opening your mouth widely to stimulate the opening of the Eustachian tube. In more serious cases, such as infection, please consult a doctor urgently as he will need to prescribe an antibiotic solution to tackle the issue.
Can a deviated septum cause eye pain?
Having a deviated septum will not cause problems with your eyes or vision. However, in the case you are experiencing a sinus infection, that infection might spread to your eyes. If that happens, you need to consult a doctor urgently as, in very extreme cases, an eye infection can lead to serious vision problems or even blindness. The problem can be solved by prescribing antibiotics.
Can a deviated septum cause facial pain?
If the deviation is very serious, some tissues, bone, and cartilage might be in such close contact that a lot of pressure is being exerted in some parts of your face. If taking medication that reduces inflammation and swelling in the nasal area is not having a great effect, then surgery might be needed as it is a physical problem.
In the case your deviation is not as serious, you might experience facial pain when you're suffering from sinusitis, allergies, colds or having the flu. The swollen tissue and mucus build-up are increasing the pressure inside your airways, which might be the reason for face pain. Nasal rinse products and decongestants (or even a corticosteroid spray) might be used to reduce this pressure, thus alleviating your discomfort.
While you take that medication, you can also use hot baths or warm towels applied over your face to give you some sense of relief in the short term.
Can a deviated septum cause sinus pain?
Not directly, but indirectly through the conditions that are enabled by having a deviated septum. As we've explained above, conditions such as sinusitis and allergies cause tissues in and around your nose to swell, and as mucus builds up inside your airways, so does the pressure. This pressure is also being exerted on your sinus, which might lead to feeling pain in that area as well.
Relieving this pressure on your sinus can be done with decongestants, antihistamines and also nasal steroid sprays.
Can a deviated septum cause a headache?
Again, not directly, but because of the swollen tissue, inflammation, and less space for air to flow inside your airways, the feeling of stuffiness and the pressure building up could lead to a headache. If you're having trouble breathing at night, these headaches could also be related to poor sleep quality or lack of proper oxygenation.
In this case, you can use decongestants and nasal sprays to reduce the symptoms related to your nose, which should reduce the pressure we mentioned. If you're still feeling unwell, you can also use over-the-counter pain medication.
How I can manage pain after deviated septum surgery?
After you have had your deviated septum corrected, you might experience some mild to moderate pain. It is possible you'll feel nasal congestion, nasal discharge, headaches and minor swelling for one to two weeks after the procedure, with all these complications being completely solved one or two months later.
Here's what you can do to deal with these symptoms:
Now you know how a deviated septum (and the potential conditions that come with it) affects other parts of your face and head. If the symptoms you feel are fleeting and not very serious, the tips we provided above should help you fight through the worst and feel better quickly. However, if you are constantly suffering from multiple episodes and medication isn't helping, consider taking a decisive step to increase your quality of life by scheduling a deviated septum surgery.
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