It’s difficult to determine what percentage of the population has a deviated septum, but one survey indicated that about 75% of the participants had some degree of deviation in their nasal septum. While many people go their entire lives without realizing they have a problem with their sinus passageways, this discrepancy can cause endless trouble for others.
The ear, nose, and throat specialists at ENT of New Orleans, with offices in Chalmette, Harvey, New Orleans, and Marrero, Louisiana, can help you find out if a deviated septum is causing you to have related issues like chronic sinusitis.
Problems caused by a deviated septum
The wall of cartilage that separates your nostrils is known as the nasal septum. Slight deviation is considered normal, but if your septum is notably off-center, it can lead to nasal problems like:
- Stuffy nose, or obstruction of one or both nostrils
- Noisy breathing, especially while sleeping
- Nosebleeds, often caused by dry nasal passages
- Facial pain, particularly tenderness in the face and nose
- Sinus headaches, located behind the eyes and in the forehead
Facial pain and headaches are also associated with sinusitis, or inflammation of the spaces within your skull. Sinusitis isn’t always caused by deviation of the nasal septum, but a deviated septum can be the culprit in chronic or recurring cases.
The connection between chronic sinusitis and a deviated septum
There are a few different types of sinusitis, ranging from acute to chronic. You might experience acute congestion and inflammation due to hay fever or infections like the common cold. However, if your sinusitis has lasted longer than 12 weeks or occurs in cycles, it’s become chronic, and a deviated septum might be causing or exacerbating your issue.
People with deviated septums sometimes experience blockages that come and go, or switch sides. This is known as a nasal cycle, and it can often indicate deviation in the septum. As the septum shifts, your nasal passages become blocked and inflamed, leading to intermittent or chronic sinusitis.
Treatment for sinusitis and a deviated septum
At ENT of New Orleans, our team determines exactly what’s causing your sinus problems, whether it’s a deviated septum or nasal polyps. From there, we create a treatment plan to help you move forward.
Modern surgery to alleviate sinusitis is safe and minimally invasive: functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is used to clear the nasal passages, while balloon sinuplasty is used to expand the sinuses and reduce congestion.
If your septum is severely deviated, you might be recommended for more intensive surgery to correct the issue. After septum surgery, patients often find that a lot of sinus issues they were having disappear.
Struggling with constant congestion? Schedule a consultation with our team of ENT specialists by calling the location closest to you, or visit our contact page for more options.