Deviated Septums & Nasal Obstructions
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What are Deviated Septums & Nasal Obstructions?
A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall between your nasal passages, called a nasal septum, is shifted to one side. In many people, the nasal septum is off-center—or deviated—making one nasal passage smaller than the other.
When a deviated septum is severe, it can block one side of the nose and reduce airflow, causing difficulty breathing. It may also cause your nose to dry out and bleed.
A nasal blockage or congestion (obstruction) can occur from a deviated nasal septum, swelling of the tissues lining the nose, or both.
How Common is a Deviated Septum?
Deviated nasal septum and nasal obstructions are extremely common. Many people with a deviated septum don’t have symptoms.
Symptoms of a Deviated Septum or Nasal Obstruction
Common symptoms include:
- Sleep apnea (breathing stops frequently while sleeping)
What Causes a Deviated Septum?
Some people are born with a deviated septum or develop it over time. It can also be caused by an injury that moves the nasal septum out of place such as a broken nose.
UR Medicine's Treatments for Deviated Septums & Nasal Obstructions
After a diagnosis, your doctor will first work on managing your symptoms. They may prescribe medications like:
- Decongestants to reduce nasal tissue swelling, helping to keep the airways on both sides of your nose open
- Antihistamines to help prevent allergy symptoms
- Nasal corticosteroid sprays to reduce swelling in your nasal passage and help with drainage
If medications don’t work, your doctor may suggest septoplasty, or surgery to correct your deviated septum.
What Sets Us Apart?
As part of the University of Rochester Medical Center's Department of Otolaryngology, our rhinologists are exposed to more complex conditions and unusual conditions than most physicians in the Rochester area. Our patients receive comprehensive medical and surgical treatments and immediate access to a network of specialists in multiple disciplines.
Our state-of-the-art clinic includes four exam rooms that are equipped with high-definition monitors. Our exam rooms also serve as procedure suites for in-office surgeries. We utilize video capture technology to help give our patients a stronger understanding of their conditions.
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