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nasal septum deviation

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What is nasal septum deviation?

The nasal septum is the thin wall that divides the nostrils. Its deviation occurs because it displaces towards one of the two sides.

In most cases, one side of the nostril becomes smaller than the other while, in others, it can obstruct the nose, affecting the flow of air that the patient breathes.

Some cases of septal deviations can cause nasal obstruction, which needs to be treated to alleviate the patient’s discomfort. This nasal deviation can lead to various nasal function disturbances, as we’ll explain below.

Anatomy of the Nasal Septum:

The nasal septum is located in the central part of the nose and divides the two nasal cavities into left and right sides. It is composed of an anterior cartilaginous part and a posterior bony part.

The bony portion is formed by the vomer at the bottom and the ethmoid bone at the top. The cartilage of the nasal septum provides structure and support to the nose.

Function of the Nasal Septum:

It plays an important role in breathing and protecting the airways. It helps direct the flow of air through the nasal cavities and filters dust, allergens, and foreign particles present in the inhaled air.

It also participates in the sense of smell, as the olfactory nerve endings are located in the mucous membrane that lines the nasal septum.

Causes of Nasal Septum Deviation:

Congenital Causes:

Nasal septum deviation can result from abnormal development during gestation. Genetic and hereditary factors may contribute to this condition.

Acquired Causes:

They can include nasal traumas such as blows or sports injuries. Aging, osteoporosis, and certain diseases such as chronic rhinitis can also contribute to nasal septum deviation.

Symptoms of Deviated Nasal Septum:

Identifying a deviated septum can be challenging as it causes confusing symptoms. This condition is often diagnosed when addressing other nose-related discomforts.

Symptoms may include:

Nasal obstruction in one or both nasal passages:

Persistent nasal congestion, even without a cold, remains and does not improve with medication.

This can also cause damage and irritation to nasal tissues, nasal turbinates, and even headaches due to the lack of regular airflow.

Sleep apnea:

Noisy nighttime breathing and/or snoring that can interrupt sleep; the primary cause of this situation is the deviation of the nasal septum.

Nosebleeds:

Inflammation of the tissue lining the septum can dry out due to a lack of airflow and mucus, promoting crust formation and the risk of nosebleeds.

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Diagnosis of Deviated Septum:

It requires a clinical evaluation and may involve the following methods:

  1. Physical examination: The otolaryngologist will examine the inside of the nose using a special instrument called a nasal speculum to assess the deviation of the septum.
  2. Imaging tests: X-rays or computed tomography (CT) scans may be requested to obtain more detailed images of the nasal septum and determine the degree of deviation.
  3. Nasal endoscopy: In some cases, a nasal endoscopy may be performed to evaluate the condition of the paranasal sinuses and detect any other abnormalities that may contribute to the symptoms.

Remember that you can rely on Dr. Lech, an otolaryngologist in Panama, to treat symptoms related to your nasal septum

Treatment for Nasal Septum Deviation

The recommended solution today is septum surgery to correct and align the nasal septum. Before resorting to surgery, the otolaryngologist exhausts pharmacological resources to reduce inflammation in the area and restore airflow.

Surgical options offered include:

Rhinoplasty:

Through this surgical process, deviations in the nasal pyramid are corrected, and the internal position of the septum is improved, offering the patient an improvement in their discomfort and also an aesthetic change.

The process involves making the sides of the nose permeable, restoring the continuous movement of air.

Septorhinoplasty:

Refers to a more artistic surgery seeking both aesthetic and functional results for the nose. This treatment applies all necessary means to shape and correct the nose both internally and externally.

Do you identify with the symptoms exposed? Do you think you need medical attention? Dr. Lech wants to help you find your well-being

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Types of Nasal Septum Deviations

Nasal septum deviations can be unilateral or bilateral. To identify them, the specialist performs an imaging examination within the nasal passages called nasal endoscopy, to determine the type of deviation present. Types of deviations include:

C-Shaped Deviation: This is a double bend in the nasal septum that originates at the beginning, curves to one side, and ends at the nasal turbinate. The curve usually affects only one side of the nasal passages.

S-Shaped Deviation: It involves irregular growth of the nasal septum with two or three curves affecting both nasal passages.

Causes of Nasal Septum Deviation

A deviated nasal septum can occur during fetal development, and microfractures that weaken the septal cartilage and cause deviation may occur during pregnancy or childbirth.

Deviations can also result from trauma; a strong impact can damage the morphology of the nasal passages, and the classification depends on the impact and direction.

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Risks of Not Treating a Deviated Septum in Time

Addressing a deviated septum in time is crucial to prevent possible complications, such as:

  • Increased Vulnerability to Infections: Chronic nasal obstruction can increase the risk of developing recurrent sinus infections. Mucus accumulation can promote the growth of bacteria and viruses, resulting in chronic sinusitis, facial pain, and discomfort.
  • Respiratory Problems and Snoring: Difficulty breathing correctly through the nose can lead to oral breathing and snoring during sleep. This not only affects your quality of rest but can also contribute to long-term health problems, such as sleep apnea.
  • Hearing Loss or Ear Problems: In some cases, an untreated septal deviation can impact nasal passages and affect ear pressure. This could contribute to hearing problems, ear pain, or even hearing loss.
  • Complications in Future Surgeries: If you require future nasal surgeries, such as procedures to treat chronic sinusitis or nasal polyps, an uncorrected septal deviation could hinder or complicate such interventions.
  • Impact on Quality of Life: Persistent symptoms of a deviated septum not only affect you physically but can also have a significant impact on your daily life. Discomfort, fatigue, and irritability due to nasal obstruction can influence your emotional and social well-being.

Frequent questions

A: The organs of the nose, throat, and ears are connected; therefore, if there is a blockage in the nose due to a deviated septum, it can lead to discomfort in the throat related to irritation or infection when exposed to airborne pathogens.

A: Yes, infections caused by inflammation of the turbinates due to a deviated septum can lead to complications in the ears. The nose, ear, and throat areas are interconnected, so if one is affected, the others may experience symptoms as a consequence.

A: Having a deviated septum can lead to various consequences for the patient, such as:

  • Nasal passage obstruction, difficulty breathing properly, decreased oxygen levels in the body.
  • Frequent infections of the paranasal sinuses: These infections can cause fever and can complicate along with the organs of the nose and ear.
  • Nosebleeds.

It is estimated that within a period of 4 to 6 weeks, the patient can resume their daily routine. Each case is different, and the specialist will define the periods during which the patient can gradually add actions to their routine.

Other recommendations, such as resting, avoiding sun exposure, and sleeping at a 45-degree angle, will be stipulated by the specialist based on what is considered appropriate, considering their medical history and regenerative capacity.

Want to alleviate your deviated nasal septum? You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Lech, an otolaryngologist in Panama.

Testimonials from Dr. Lech
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Laura Ruiz Ruiz
LAURA RUIZ RUIZ
2022-06-21
La verdad mi hija y yo nos sentimos muy bien atendidas por el el dr. Lech, estamos siguiendo el tratamiento lo cual ha estado haciendo un buen efecto en ella y mejorando su calidad de vida. Muy agradecida siempre!!!
Yanixa Baloy
Yanixa Baloy
2022-05-19
Excelente Dr. Muy amable y excelente atención..lo recomiendo.
Xiomara Pinillo
Xiomara Pinillo
2022-05-19
Buen Dia Esperando todo se encuentren bien.- Lo que puedo comentarle es q el Dr. Lech es una excelente persona, no solo como medico sino como un ser humano, es muy especial en la atencion a sus paciente.- Soy fiel testigo de eso porque lo he vivido y he escuchado de otras persona y colegas. Bendiciones a tod@s.-
Michel Guerrero
Michel Guerrero
2022-04-25
Excelente su atención, muy empático y atento, muchas gracias, lo recomiendo.
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