Deviated Nasal Septum
A deviated nasal septum refers to a displacement of the thin wall within the nose that separates the nasal cavity.The septum is the cartilage in the nose that separates the nostrils. Typically, it sits at the center and divides the nostrils evenly. However, in some people, this isn’t the case. Many people have an uneven septum, which makes one nostril larger than the other.
Depending on the severity of this difference, nasal blockage, reduced air-flow, and breathing problems can occur. A misaligned septum can also interfere with nasal drainage, leading to an increased rate of infection and postnasal drip.
Deviated septums are very common. Healthcare professionals estimate that up to 80% of people have a deviated septum.
Most septal displacements result in no symptoms, and you may not even know you have a deviated septum. Some septal deformities, however, may cause the following signs and symptoms:
• Obstruction of one or both nostrils.
This blockage can make it difficult to breathe through the nostril or nostrils. You may notice this more when you have a cold or allergies that can cause your nasal passages to swell and narrow.
The surface of your nasal septum may become dry, increasing your risk of nosebleeds.
• Facial pain.
There is some debate about the possible nasal causes of facial pain. A possible cause of one-sided facial pain could be a severe deviated septum in which surfaces within the nose touch and cause pressure.
• Noisy breathing during sleep.
A deviated septum or swelling of the tissues in your nose can be one of the many reasons for noisy breathing during sleep.
• Awareness of the nasal cycle.
The nose alternates between being obstructed on one side and then changes to being obstructed on the other. This is called the nasal cycle. Being aware of the nasal cycle isn’t typical and can indicate nasal obstruction.
• Preference for sleeping on a particular side.
Some people may prefer to sleep on a particular side to optimize breathing through the nose at night if one nasal passage is narrowed.
An injury to the nose can cause a deviated septum. Nasal injuries may occur due to:
• Car accidents.
• Getting hit in the nose during an accident or fight.
A deviated septum may also be congenital, or present at birth. The deviation may be from a difficult birth or connective tissue disease.
It may also be a result of normal development. As the nose grows, the septum also grows and can sometimes grow towards one side. This is typically the most common reason to have a deviated septum.
Risk Factors –
After birth, a deviated septum is most commonly caused by an injury that moves your nasal septum out of place.
Risk factors include:
• Playing contact sports
• Not wearing your seat belt while riding in a motorized vehicle
A severely deviated septum causing nasal blockage can lead to:
• Dry mouth, due to chronic mouth breathing
• A feeling of pressure or congestion in your nasal passages
• Disturbed sleep,due to the unpleasantness of not being able to breathe comfortably through your nose at night
To diagnose a deviated septum, your doctor first examines your nostrils with a nasal speculum. The doctor checks the septum’s placement and how it impacts the size of the nostrils. The doctor will also ask questions about sleep, snoring, sinus problems, and difficulty breathing.You can connect with an ENT in your area.
A deviated septum is an extremely common condition and many people with a deviated septum do not need treatment.
Some symptoms such as a stuffy nose or postnasal drip may be alleviated with medication, including decongestants, antihistamines, or nasal sprays. In many cases, medications are tried before surgery is recommended.
If a person has a deviated septum and it causes breathing problems or sleep apnea and snoring, surgery may be recommended to repair the septum. Surgery to fix a deviated septum is called
• a septoplasty,
• submucous resection of the septum, or
• septal reconstruction.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
A condition explained in Ayurveda in the context of nasal disorders – Nasa Pratinaha / Nasanaha – can be compared to deviated nasal septum.
Ayurveda treats Deviated septum through a Panchkarma therapy of 7 days.It is called
• Nasya that involves Ayurveda face massage, herbal steam and specific Ayurveda oil or herbs or powder into the nostrils.
• Neti Kriya is the another beneficial way to treat deviated septum. It is of two types-
* Jal Neti
* Sutra Neti
• Trikatu Churna
• Sitopladi Churna
• Lakshmivilas Ras
• Tribhuvankirti Ras
• Abhrak Bhasma
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