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Do Deviated Septums Cause Sleep Apnea?

sleep apneaThe onslaught of snoring combined with a lack of rest makes life frustrating for those with sleep apnea.   They take shots in the dark trying to find out why they suddenly can’t sleep and the search for answers can be maddening.  If you’re up at night because of your sleep apnea, you may benefit from looking at your nose.

Deviated septum is a condition that affects the structure of your nose and most don’t know how it correlates to sleep apnea.  Today, we’ll be looking at just how much having sleep apnea deviated septum can contribute to your sleep apnea.

Solving the question

Your nostrils are complicated places and a lot can go on in there.  Take for instance, deviated septum.  Like most sino-nasal conditions the word is pretty self-explanatory.  All it really means is a misalignment in your septum.

Your septum is the wall of flesh that divides your nostrils and it can be shaped irregularly for any number of reasons.  Whether it’s from trauma or because of a genetic condition the septum’s misalignments can have pretty far-reaching consequences.  On a smaller scale there’s nothing to worry about but if they’re significant you can expect to see it manifest in ways like breathing difficulty, nosebleeds, and even headaches!

What causes sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is caused by momentary pauses in breathing and so the two are obviously connected.  The effects go beyond sleep deprivation.  Having sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, asthma and even heartburn! So now what?  How do you know when you’ve got a deviated septum and what can you do about it?

I’m going in

For situations involving your nose, you’re going to need an expert.  Otolaryngologists or ENT Doctors (Ear, Nose and Throat) make it their job to know everything about how your nose should be functioning.  They’re as much technicians as they are healers and they’ll give you the truth about whether your nose is affecting your sleeping.

If they find that you’ve got the sleep apnea / deviated septum combo, there are plenty of options for you to consider:

  • Medication:  Some medications can offset the effects of the misaligned septum.
  • Exercise:  Sleep apnea can be caused by being overweight and an exercise program will increase your overall health.
  • CPAP Machine:  The continuous positive airway pressure machine uses a mask to help you circulate air as you sleep.
  • Septoplasty:  A specific surgery involving your septum will automatically correct any issues being caused by it, even indirectly.  This usually involves the realignment of tissue, bone and cartilage.

Putting sleep apnea behind you

It is definitely frustrating that a minor issue in your nostrils that may not have affected you all that much before is suddenly stopping you from sleeping.  Luckily, by consulting with a professional and analyzing the workings of your nose, you can put a quick end to it.

Not only that, but you also benefit from better breathing in general.  Even if you can manage your sleep apnea in other ways, putting up with a deviated septum only opens you up to things like sinus infections and nose bleeds down the road.