Do you or someone you know suffer from a deviated septum? A patient is diagnosed with a deviated septum when the cartilage that separates the nostrils is crooked or skewed to one side, leading to a cluster of health problems.
A deviated septum is common among many Americans and can lead to minor but annoying complications like sinus issues, recurring headaches, and even sleep apnea, a disorder that is characterized by brief interruptions in the regular breathing pattern during sleep. Of the symptoms and complications, the latter is probably the most severe threat to your health because on rare occasions it can result in weakened heart conditions and death.
While death as an indirect result of a deviated symptom is probably very rare and uncommon, intense headaches and sinus issues are direct issues relating to the condition. Dr. Oz, the popular cardiothoracic surgeon with his own daytime TV talk show, on April 20th, 2011 featured a segment that focused specifically on the condition of a deviated septum.
After revealing that a deviated septum is the number of one reason adults experience breathing issues and discomfort, the doctor used a micro-camera to plunge into the depths of a studio audience member’s nose to demonstrate the visual diagnosis of the condition, and how it can block off the central breathing passageways. Sometimes a deviated septum is severely crooked and skewed; sometimes it is only a slight curve.
Typically, people are born with the condition. But your septum, the middle divider running the length of your nose, can sometimes become skewed after a patient experiences a broken nose from engaging in activities that raise the risk of facial injuries, like physical contact sports.
If you suspect you may be experiencing headaches, sinus infections, facial pain, nosebleeds, or sleep apnea as the result your deviated septum, you can visit an ear, nose, and throat doctor to receive a diagnosis and treatment options. Those options include surgery called septoplasty for the more severe and threatening cases, or may just include simple medications to help reduce the swelling of the septum and clear the blockage.
If you’re in the St. Augustine area, why not contact Dr. Depasquale of St. Augustine Ear, Nose, & Throat? Dr. Kalpana DePasquale is a board-certified ENT specialist who is trained to diagnose the full spectrum of nasal and sinus disorders.