How to Fix a Deviated Septum

Understanding Deviated Septum and Its Symptoms

Deviated septum is a common condition where the nasal septum, the thin wall of cartilage and bone that separates the two nostrils, is displaced to one side. This can result in one nostril being smaller than the other, making it difficult to breathe through the nose. Some people are born with a deviated septum, while others may develop it due to an injury or trauma to the nose.

Symptoms of a deviated septum can vary from person to person, but common ones include:

  • Nasal congestion or blockage on one or both sides
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose, especially when lying down
  • Recurrent or chronic sinus infections
  • Nosebleeds
  • Headaches
  • Postnasal drip
  • Loud snoring or sleep apnea

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a medical professional to determine if you have a deviated septum and what treatment options are available.

Diagnosis and Evaluation by a Medical Professional

If you suspect that you have a deviated septum, it is important to visit a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis. During your appointment, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and may perform a physical exam of your nose and nasal passages.

To get a more detailed view of your nasal structure, your doctor may recommend imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI. These tests can help your doctor determine the severity and location of the deviation and any related complications, such as sinusitis or nasal polyps.

In some cases, your doctor may refer you to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist for further evaluation and treatment. ENT specialists have specialized training and expertise in diagnosing and treating conditions of the head and neck, including deviated septum.

Treatment Options for Deviated Septum

The treatment for a deviated septum depends on the severity of the deviation and the symptoms that it causes. In some cases, no treatment may be necessary if the deviation is mild and does not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, if the deviation is causing breathing difficulties or other problems, treatment options may include:

  1. Medications: Decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal steroid sprays can help relieve congestion and reduce inflammation in the nasal passages, making it easier to breathe.

  2. Nasal dilators: These are small devices that are placed inside the nostrils to help keep the nasal passages open and improve airflow.

  3. Septoplasty: This is a surgical procedure that involves straightening the septum to improve breathing and alleviate symptoms. It is usually done under general anesthesia and involves making a small incision inside the nostril to access the septum. The surgeon then reshapes the cartilage and bone to correct the deviation.

  4. Turbinate reduction: In some cases, the nasal turbinates, which are small structures inside the nose that help filter and humidify air, can become swollen and block the nasal passages. Turbinate reduction is a procedure that involves shrinking or removing some of the tissue in the turbinates to improve airflow.

Your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment option based on your individual needs and preferences.

Preparing for Deviated Septum Surgery

If your doctor has recommended septoplasty as a treatment option for your deviated septum, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the procedure. These include:

  1. Schedule a pre-operative appointment: This appointment will give you the opportunity to meet with your surgeon and discuss the procedure, including any risks and potential complications.

  2. Avoid certain medications: Your surgeon may recommend that you stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners, in the weeks leading up to the procedure to reduce the risk of bleeding.

  3. Arrange for transportation: You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home from the hospital after the procedure, as you will not be able to drive yourself.

  4. Plan for recovery: You may need to take time off from work or other activities to allow for proper healing after the surgery. Make sure to stock up on any supplies you may need, such as nasal saline spray, pain medication, and ice packs.

  5. Follow pre-operative instructions: Your surgeon may provide you with specific instructions to follow in the days leading up to the procedure, such as avoiding food and drink for a certain amount of time before the surgery.

By taking these steps to prepare for your surgery, you can help ensure a smooth and successful procedure and a faster recovery.

Recovery and Aftercare Tips for Deviated Septum Surgery

After your deviated septum surgery, it is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions for a smooth and successful recovery. Here are some tips for aftercare:

  1. Rest and avoid strenuous activity: You will need to rest and avoid any strenuous activity for at least a week after the surgery to allow your body to heal.

  2. Use nasal saline spray: Your surgeon may recommend using nasal saline spray to help keep your nasal passages moist and prevent crusting.

  3. Apply ice packs: Applying ice packs to your nose can help reduce swelling and discomfort.

  4. Avoid blowing your nose: You should avoid blowing your nose for at least a week after the surgery to avoid disrupting the healing process.

  5. Take pain medication as directed: Your surgeon may prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort after the surgery. Make sure to take it as directed.

  6. Attend follow-up appointments: It is important to attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your healing and address any concerns or complications.

By following these aftercare tips and closely following your surgeon’s instructions, you can help ensure a smooth recovery and improve the success of your deviated septum surgery.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button