What is a Deviated Nasal Septum?

A deviated nasal septum is a condition where the thin cartilage and bone dividing the nasal cavity into two airways are significantly off-center or crooked. This misalignment can obstruct airflow through one or both nostrils, causing a range of symptoms and discomfort.

What Causes a Deviated Nasal Septum?

A deviated nasal septum can result from:


Nasal injuries from accidents, sports activities, or physical altercations can cause the nasal septum to become misaligned.

Congenital Factors:

Some people are born with a deviated septum due to genetics or pressure during fetal development.


The pressure exerted on the nose during childbirth can lead to a deviated septum in some infants.

Chronic Nasal Congestion:

Long-term nasal congestion or inflammation can gradually shift the nasal septum from its proper position.


The nasal septum may become more deviated with age due to changes in the structure of the nasal passages.

These factors can contribute to developing or worsening a deviated nasal septum, leading to unpleasant symptoms and discomfort.

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What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of a deviated nasal septum can vary depending on the severity of the deviation. 

  • Nasal congestion: Difficulty breathing through one or both nostrils due to blockage caused by the deviated septum. This may worsen at night or when lying down.
  • Difficulty breathing: Feeling like one nostril is constantly blocked, leading to mouth breathing and reduced airflow.
  • Recurrent sinus infections: Obstruction of nasal passages can trap mucus, leading to frequent sinus infections and congestion.
  • Nosebleeds: The irregular airflow and dryness caused by the deviated septum can lead to frequent nosebleeds.
  • Facial pain or pressure: Blocked nasal passages can cause pressure to build up, leading to discomfort in the face and around the eyes.
  • Headaches: Chronic congestion and sinus pressure can result in frequent headaches, especially around the forehead and eyes.
  • Snoring: A deviated septum can contribute to snoring due to obstructed airflow during sleep.
  • Sleep disturbances: Difficulty breathing through the nose can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to sleep disturbances and fatigue during the day.
  • Reduced sense of smell: Nasal congestion and blockage can impair the ability to smell, affecting taste and quality of life.
  • Postnasal drip: Excess mucus production due to nasal obstruction can lead to postnasal drip, causing throat irritation and coughing.
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What is the Treatment for a Deviated Nasal Septum?

During a procedure to correct a deviated nasal septum, medically termed “septoplasty,” after anesthesia is administered to ensure comfort, the nasal passages are accessed, either through internal incisions or endoscopically, depending on the complexity of the deviation. Using specialized instruments, the surgeon carefully straightens the crooked septum, removing any excess tissue or bone contributing to breathing difficulties and other symptoms.

Once the septum is aligned correctly, the incisions are closed, and nasal packing or splints may be used to support the newly positioned septum as it heals. The entire procedure is performed with precision and attention to detail to restore normal airflow and alleviate symptoms associated with the deviated septum.

What is the Recovery Like After Surgery for a Deviated Septum?

After septoplasty, the recovery time can vary depending on factors such as the extent of the surgery and individual healing processes. Typically, patients may experience mild discomfort, swelling, and congestion for the first few days following the procedure. It is typical for nasal packing or splints to be placed inside the nose to support the septum as it heals, and these may be removed after about a week.

Most patients can resume normal activities within a week to ten days, although strenuous exercise and activities that could risk injuring the nose should be avoided for several weeks. Full recovery, including the resolution of any residual swelling or congestion, may take several weeks to months. During this time, follow all post-operative care instructions provided by our surgeon. Regular follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor healing progress and address any concerns during recovery.

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Southern ENT Associates and Deviated Septum Treatments

When considering septoplasty for a deviated nasal septum, choosing Southern ENT Associates ensures you receive comprehensive care from skilled specialists dedicated to your well-being. Our team boasts years of experience in nasal surgery, providing personalized treatment plans tailored to your unique needs. With a patient-first approach and state-of-the-art facilities, we prioritize your comfort and satisfaction throughout your journey to better nasal health.

With 6 convenient locations in Southern Louisiana, we make accessing the treatment you need easy.

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