The nasal septum is the thin barrier of cartilage and bone that separates the two sides of the nose. A “typical” septum divides the nose into two equal parts, running straight up and down. However, individuals with a deviated septum Los Angeles have nasal passages of unequal sizes. Although deviated septum concerns are quite common, affecting millions of persons in the United States, many do not experience any negative effects. Nonetheless, it might be time to see a doctor if you encounter any of the following symptoms.
1. Blocked Nose
If you have a significantly deviated septum, one of your nasal passageways could be nearly obstructed, keeping you from breathing normally. This obstruction will worsen if you have a cold or allergies.
You might also be in sync with your nasal cycle, a natural biological process in which the sides of your nose alternately get more congested. This issue causes one of your nostrils to perform most of the breathing at any moment. Once the larger nasal channel becomes congested, you might experience trouble breathing.
2. Recurrent Sinus Problems
Sinusitis, often referred to as a sinus infection, could develop due to a deviated septum. Sinusitis is a swelling and accumulation of excessive mucus in the sinus cavities. This condition renders it hard or impossible to breathe via the nose.
You might have post-nasal drip, discolored mucus, facial discomfort, earaches, headaches, and other uncomfortable symptoms. A deviated septum frequently results in recurrent sinusitis, which is considered chronic if it persists for more than 12 weeks.
3. Pressure, Pain, and Congestion
Even if you do not have a sinus infection, a deviated septum might cause you to experience headaches, general discomfort, and congestion. While the precise reason for this issue is unclear, some specialists believe these discomforts might occur from the septum rubbing against the inner nasal wall. A deviated septum could also exacerbate the discomfort caused by conditions that already impede breathing, such as allergies and common colds.
4. Constant Nosebleeds
Numerous blood arteries lay near the skin’s surface in your nasal passageways. As you strain to breathe and attempt to take stronger breaths, the tension could lead your skin to dry out and crack, resulting in a nosebleed.
Sinus infections and swelling, frequent in people with a deviated septum, can also cause nosebleeds. Although a nosebleed is unlikely to be harmful, you should pinch your nose to stop bleeding. Otherwise, you risk gastrointestinal distress from ingesting blood.
5. Sleep Issues
Even though sleep issues could be modest and overlooked, their existence may suggest a deviated septum. A deviated septum could induce nighttime snoring or lead to sleep apnea, a condition in which you temporarily cease breathing during sleep. This condition may contribute to daytime fatigue.
During sleep, you might prefer to lie on one side of the body or in a single-head position. This issue stems from the fact that you want to keep your larger nasal channel unobstructed for easier breathing at night.
Whereas many occurrences of deviated septum do not disrupt everyday life, you might find that yours is causing major breathing difficulties, pain, and sinus infections. If so, you should consult an ear, nose, and throat specialist about whether a septoplasty can correct your issues.