A deviated septum is when your nasal septum — the thin wall that separates your right and left nasal passages — is displaced to one side. You may be born with this condition or it occurs due to an injury.

Overview and Symptoms

In many cases, there may be no symptoms. When symptoms occur, they can include difficulty breathing, a congested nostril, nosebleeds, and noisy breathing during sleep.

Diagnosing a deviated septum can be done during a physical examination by using a bright light and an instrument that can help visualize the nasal septum by opening the nostril.

Some deviated septums are deep in the nose and may require further evaluation with a small endoscope.

Imaging may occasionally be done with a CT scan to view the extent and other associated to findings, but this is not often done.

Treatment

Treatments of a deviated septum include decongestants, antihistamines, nasal steroids, use of an adhesive strip to open nasal passages, and surgery. Medications are tried before surgery is recommended.

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