Ask The Doctor

What are the potential symptoms of a deviated septum?

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I have recently been experiencing serious difficulties breathing coupled with a persistent sinus headache. Is it possible that I may have a deviated septum? What are the potential symptoms?

1 Answer

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There are 5 Common Symptoms:

1. Difficulty Breathing
A misaligned septum makes it more difficult for air to pass through the nostrils and into your lungs. As a result, you may encounter trouble breathing—especially when you have a cold or allergies. Those conditions make your nasal passages swell and narrow, which further constrains your ability to breathe.

2. Nose Bleeds
In some patients, a deviated septum leads to regular nosebleeds. That’s because the curvature of the septum creates turbulence as air passes through the nostril. Think about your septum like the hood of a car or an airline wing. The more aerodynamic the surface area, the more easily air passes past the septum (or the wing of an airplane). In noses, the more turbulence on the septum, the drier it becomes and that can lead to a bloody nose.

3. Frequent Sinus Infections or Cold Symptoms
A clogged airway or impaired breathing through your nose often leads to sinus infections, post-nasal drip or what many people simply term “common cold” symptoms.

4. Facial Pain and Headaches
People with a deviated septum feel “clogged up.” That can lead to headaches and facial pain. In some cases, facial and nose pain is caused by the nasal septum actually contacting the outside wall of your nose.

5. Difficulty Sleeping
You know the frustration of trying to sleep when you’re heavily congested. Now imagine that condition nearly every time you lay your head on a pillow. A deviated septum can cause you to lose sleep and that can make you irritable. More critically, a deviated symptom can contribute to sleep apnea, which is a serious sleep disorder and can prove fatal.

Your Answer

1 Answer

0

There are 5 Common Symptoms:

1. Difficulty Breathing
A misaligned septum makes it more difficult for air to pass through the nostrils and into your lungs. As a result, you may encounter trouble breathing—especially when you have a cold or allergies. Those conditions make your nasal passages swell and narrow, which further constrains your ability to breathe.

2. Nose Bleeds
In some patients, a deviated septum leads to regular nosebleeds. That’s because the curvature of the septum creates turbulence as air passes through the nostril. Think about your septum like the hood of a car or an airline wing. The more aerodynamic the surface area, the more easily air passes past the septum (or the wing of an airplane). In noses, the more turbulence on the septum, the drier it becomes and that can lead to a bloody nose.

3. Frequent Sinus Infections or Cold Symptoms
A clogged airway or impaired breathing through your nose often leads to sinus infections, post-nasal drip or what many people simply term “common cold” symptoms.

4. Facial Pain and Headaches
People with a deviated septum feel “clogged up.” That can lead to headaches and facial pain. In some cases, facial and nose pain is caused by the nasal septum actually contacting the outside wall of your nose.

5. Difficulty Sleeping
You know the frustration of trying to sleep when you’re heavily congested. Now imagine that condition nearly every time you lay your head on a pillow. A deviated septum can cause you to lose sleep and that can make you irritable. More critically, a deviated symptom can contribute to sleep apnea, which is a serious sleep disorder and can prove fatal.