A deviated septum is a condition in which the piece of bone and cartilage that divides the nasal cavity in half is either significantly off-center or crooked. It is something that you can be born with or something that happens as a result of trauma to your nose such as blunt force injury to the face. However, having a deviated septum can have a considerable effect on your ability to live an active and fulfilling life.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest effect of living with a deviated septum is your ability to breathe properly. While many people breathe primarily through their mouth, inhaling through our noses is actually far better for our health and wellbeing. It is also a much more effective way of getting oxygen into our lungs. When you breathe through your nose, you will notice your lungs expanding far more efficiently and you will be able to take a larger amount of oxygen is due to there being less space for the air to escape back out. The nostrils are also lined with fine hairs that are designed to filter out particles and bacteria that could otherwise irritate our respiratory system.
The Effects of Living With a Deviated Septum
Unfortunately, when you have a deviated septum, you will almost certainly find that one of your nasal cavities is much narrower than the other. This can make it difficult for air to pass through it into your body. While this may not have a significant impact if you have a sedentary lifestyle, if you want to participate in sports or exercise on a regular basis, you may find that you get out of breath much more easily, and in severe cases, do not get enough oxygen to be able to participate in any activity that involves physical exertion.
The other problem is that you are also reliant on your ‘good’ nostrils (if you have one) to breathe. Unfortunately, patients with a deviated septum are more likely to suffer from nasal congestion, again affecting your ability to breathe effectively. If you were to experience a cold, you could find breathing a serious problem.
Other common symptoms and effects associated with a deviated septum include:
- Recurrent or repeated sinus infections
- Facial pain
- Loud breathing
- Snoring and/or sleep apnea
Fortunately, a specific type of rhinoplasty surgery makes it possible to alleviate the problems experienced due to a deviated septum. For those patients that are severely adversely affected by their condition, fixing their deviated septum could transform their quality of life.
Septoplasty: A Rhinoplasty Procedure That Can Fix Your Deviated SeptumUnsurprisingly, the name of the rhinoplasty procedure used to correct a deviated septum is ‘septoplasty’, and it is a procedure that is fairly straightforward for an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon. It is usually carried out under a local anesthetic with sedation, or in some cases, using a general anesthetic. Both of these will ensure that you aren’t in any discomfort for the duration of your procedure.
During the procedure, your septum will be trimmed and made straighter. It may be necessary to cut the bone in order to place it into the right position, and if you have a particularly flat nose, your procedure may also be combined with another type of rhinoplasty designed to add structure to the nostrils so that breathing is easier. This will be discussed with you ahead of your septoplasty. All of the incisions will be kept inside your nose to ensure that there is no visible scarring. Once complete, you may have your nostrils splinted or packed during the initial stage of healing. Swelling and bruising can take a number of weeks to dissipate, but once they do, you should find that breathing is much easier than before.
If you have a deviated septum and find that it is preventing you from taking part in activities that you would like to enjoy, or you are suffering from debilitating symptoms associated with your condition, a septoplasty to fix your issue could change your life. To find out more, please book a confidential consultation with our experienced team at Texas Plastic Surgery in San Antonio, TX (210) 616-0301.