Posts for tag: Deviated Septum
Has your otolaryngologist told you that you have a deviated septum? If so, you may be wondering what this condition is, what issues it could possibly cause and when it might be time to have the issue corrected.
A deviated septum is a structural abnormality within the nose in which the wall that separates the two nasal passages deviates more to one side. As a result, one nasal passage is much smaller than the other. In more severe cases, the deviated septum can even completely block one passageway, making it more difficult to breathe out of your nose.
Those who have a deviated septum may find that they deal with more frequent nosebleeds or swelling of the nasal tissue. You may also experience facial pain and pressure. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or finding it difficult to breathe out of your nose then you will want to visit an ENT doctor who can perform a thorough evaluation and determine whether your symptoms are caused by a deviated septum or another issue.
If we determine that you have a deviated septum there are a couple different courses of action in which we can take. If the deviated septum isn’t causing severe issues then the first defense will be to better manage your symptoms through the use of steroid nasal sprays, decongestants or antihistamines. While these medications won’t correct the problem it will help to reduce nasal congestion and swelling within the nasal passages to help you breathe better.
Of course, if your symptoms are severe and not controlled through medication then the next step will be surgery to repair the structural deformity. This procedure is called septoplasty, in which an ENT specialist will make incisions into the septum so that it can be repositioned into the proper place. In some cases, a rhinoplasty (“nose job”) may also be performed during the septoplasty to correct the shape, size or alignment of the nose and improve its appearance.
If you think you may be suffering from a deviated septum this is the perfect time to pick up the phone and call an otolaryngologist who can help manage your symptoms and help you breathe better.
Breathing problems can quickly turn into a scary situation. However, your ear, nose and throat specialist can help you get to the bottom of your breathing problems to help you find relief and avoid further complications. Diagnosis and treatment of these issues depend on pinpointing the underlying cause of the problems and developing an effective treatment plan.
Do I have a breathing problem?
Breathing issues can stem from various sources which often cause similar symptoms. You may have a breathing problem if you experience one or more of the following:
- labored breathing
- shortness of breath
- discomfort while breathing
- flaring nostrils
- gray/pale complexion
If you think you have a breathing difficulty, you should see your ear, nose and throat doctor as soon as possible for a diagnosis. If your breathing difficulty shows up alongside a fever, severe coughing, difficulty laying down or waking up at night unable to breathe, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Common Causes of Breathing Problems
Your breathing problems may originate from one or more of the following conditions:
- Allergies: Allergies occur due to your body’s misinterpretation of outside elements like pet dander, pollen, mold or grass as an attack. Symptoms include sneezing, wheezing, coughing and itchy, watery eyes.
- Deviated septum: A deviated septum can be present from birth or present itself due to an injury. A deviated septum occurs when the wall of tissue between your nostrils becomes severely off-center and causes issues like blockages or congestion.
- Lung disease: Asthma is a common cause of breathing issues and attacks often occur due to a trigger like an allergic reaction to dust, mold or pollen. Other lung diseases like pulmonary edema, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, plural effusion or tuberculosis can also trigger breathing problems.
- Sinusitis: Sinusitis occurs when the lining of the nasal passages becomes inflamed. While sinusitis usually occurs due to a viral infection which shows improvement in a week or two, it can also become chronic, lasting over 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitis often requires sinus surgery to clear the blockage and allow the sinuses to drain.
How can my ear, nose and throat doctor help?
Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor will use different treatments. You will have a physical examination with your ear, nose, and throat doctor. This time allows your doctor to spot abnormalities with your body, take images using x-rays or MRIs, and begin any necessary testing. Your doctor will work with you to determine the cause of your breathing problems and find the best course of treatment for you.