The septum is the middle part of your nose that divides the two sides. It is made out of cartilage and bone and forms a sheet that runs from the front of your nose to the back. A normal septum is in the middle of the nose and divides the left and the right into two equal sides. In some people, the sheet may be bent at the top or bottom, crooked to one side, or the bone may have formed little growths called spurs that block the flow of air into the nose. This is known as a deviated septum, or crooked septum. In many people, the septum is slightly off center and it does not cause any problems. But for some, the septum may be so deviated it makes it difficult for air to flow through the nose and causes the patient to feel like their nose is blocked all the time. In patients who have a deviated septum and cannot breathe through one or both sides of their nose, a septoplasty may improve nasal breathing.
What are the symptoms of a deviated septum?
You may have a deviated septum if you have these symptoms:
- Unable to breathe out of one or both sides of your nose
- Alternating sides of your nose feeling blocked
- Mouth breathing
- Facial pain
A septoplasty is a surgery where the surgeon removes the piece of cartilage or bone that is causing the blockage. All of the cuts are done on the inside of the nose and there are no scars on the outside of the nose than can be seen. The surgery does not change the shape or outside appearance of the nose. This surgery usually takes about an hour and the patient can go home the same day.