If you suspect you have a deviated septum and have already done a self-test at home, your next step is to see a doctor.
But what type of doctor should you see for a deviated septum?
In this article we explain the medical professionals who specialize in deviated nasal septum, and what you can expect during the examination.
What Doctor Can Tell You If You Have a Deviated Septum?
The doctor who deals with deviated nasal septum is known as Otolaryngologist (or ENT specialist).
An Otolaryngologist is a Doctor of Medicine who specializes in disorders of the head and neck, mainly related to ears, nose, and throat. The word “oto-rhino-laryngology” comes from the Greek words – “oto” for ear, “rhino” for nose, and “larynx” for throat.
Otolaryngologists perform a variety of surgical procedures for the treatment of the ear, nose, sinuses, pharynx, larynx, oral cavity, neck, thyroid, salivary glands, bronchial tubes, and esophagus. They also deal with cosmetic surgery of the head and neck region.
An Otolaryngologist has ~13 years of university training which includes four years of medical school and five or more years of specialty training. Some of them additionally opt for 1-2 years of subspecialty training.1Canadian Society of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
Septoplasty Done by ENT or Plastic Surgeon?
You might be wondering if it’s best to get your deviated septum surgery done by an ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat doctor) or a plastic surgeon.
The surgery involving the correction of a deviated septum is known as septoplasty. It is mostly performed by an Otolaryngologist (ENT specialist). 2Canadian Society of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
Many Otolaryngologists are trained to conduct facial plastic surgeries which is one of the subspecialties of Otolaryngology. It includes reconstructing and re-shaping the nose, ears, jaws, and facial area to restore or enhance function and appearance. 3Canadian Society of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
What to Expect During the Deviated Septum Examination?
The diagnosis of deviated septum involves gathering information from several sources:4Chandra RK, Patadia MO, Raviv J. Diagnosis of nasal airway obstruction. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2009;42(2):207-vii.
Additional diagnostic tests may be asked by the doctor to further confirm the septal deviation:
Once a septal deviation is diagnosed, medical therapy such as topical nasal steroids, antihistamines (antiallergic), and decongestants is recommended to the patient. If the medical therapy is not effective, a surgical procedure may be considered to correct the deviated septum.
- 1Canadian Society of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
- 2Canadian Society of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
- 3Chandra RK, Patadia MO, Raviv J. Diagnosis of nasal airway obstruction. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2009;42(2):207-vii.
- 4E W Fisher; V J Lund; G K Scadding."Acoustic rhinometry in rhinological practice: discussion paper". Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 1994,87 (7): 411–413.
- 5Aziz, T., Biron, V.L., Ansari, K. et al. Measurement tools for the diagnosis of nasal septal deviation: a systematic review. J of Otolaryngol - Head & Neck Surg.2014; 43,11.