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Deviated Septum: Definition, Symptoms and Treatment

Snoring is the harsh raspy sound that is heard when your upper airway is partially obstructed by the relaxed soft palate tissues in your throat causing these tissues to vibrate as you breathe.

Snoring can be annoying especially if you are sharing a bed with a snorer.

Snoring can also be associated with a serious sleep disorder commonly known as obstructive sleep apnea. As much as it is a nuisance to your sleep partner it can affect your health condition.

Many factors cause a person to snore such as age, weight gain, sleep position, and so on.

The different types of snoring you will notice are mouth snoring, throat snoring, nasal snoring, and tongue snoring.

Today we will focus on nasal snoring, more specifically on whether you have a deviated septum or not.

In this article, we will walk you through nasal deviated septum symptoms and how you can overcome this type of snoring.

girl sleeping on a pillow

What is a Deviated Septum?

A deviated septum is when the structure between your nostrils that is made up of bone and cartilage deviates more to one side instead of being straight.

Your nasal septum divides the two sides of your nasal airway into left and right sides.

This nasal septum deviation prohibits air to flow freely through your nostrils and makes it difficult for you to breathe.

There are many reasons why someone would have symptoms of a deviated nasal septum.

Some of them include adenoids or enlarged tonsils, nasal congestion, sinus infection, and so much more.

Read below to know more.

Symptoms of Deviated Septum?

Having a deviated nasal septum is very common.

In fact, around 80 percent of the United States population have a noticeable deviated septum that causes little to no symptoms where no treatment is required.

  • Nasal Obstruction
  • Nosebleeds
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Facial Pain
  • Recurring Sinus Infection
  • Postnasal Drip
  • Snoring

These are just some of the deviated nasal septum symptoms that you may notice.

If you are still unsure, you can consider visiting an ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor) for further diagnosis.

Dr. Jason S. Hamilton specializes in deviated septum surgery and other facial procedures. He answers a question that he has been asked by many patients.

Is there a deviated septum self test? See the video below:


Does deviated septum make you snore?

Yes, a deviated septum can make you snore at night as your septum blocks your nasal airway which causes the tissues to vibrate and cause you to snore.

This deviation can disrupt your sleep or your sleep partners' sleep because of snoring.

Keep in mind that people snore for various reasons, and since snoring is closely associated with obstructive sleep apnea, you must understand the different factors of snoring.

Some of them include mouth anatomy, age, weight, nasal congestion, chronic sinusitis, alcohol consumption, and so on.

girl trying to cover face with white bedsheet

Can it lead to sleep apnea?

Apart from snoring, a deviated nasal septum can also lead to severe sleep apnea, a condition where your body continuously stops breathing for 30-60 seconds throughout the night.

During this sleep disordered breathing, your body does not receive enough oxygen which can risk your health and lead to more serious problems.

If you have noticed any of these symptoms while you sleep, it is advised to consult a medical professional or sleep specialist at the earliest.

Sleep apnea is a life-threatening condition and ignoring this breathing problem can do more harm to your body.

Is fixing deviated septum worth it?

We know that a deviated nasal septum can disrupt sleep and cause breathing problems such as snoring.

If you have a slightly deviated septum it can be fixed through some over the counter treatments.

While in severe cases, your ear, nose and throat doctor may recommend nasal surgery. Some of the treatments you can consider are given below:

Nasal Strips

Adhesive nasal strips can help reduce snoring as it opens up your nasal passage, allowing you to have a steady and free nasal airway.

They are extremely easy to use as you simply have to stick the nasal strips on the outside of your nose.

Nasal Sprays

Nasal sprays work excellent for temporary nasal congestion and swellings caused by allergy or cold.

It can also help relieve you from snoring and nasal passage irritation. It is effective in people who suffer from recurring sinus infections.

Nasal Dilator

A nasal dilator or a nasal cone can help improve your breathing if you have a deviated nasal septum.

They both work on the same principle that increases the surface area in your nostrils that allows the air to pass through your nose easily and cause relief from nose block.

As much as they are effective in reducing snoring, they are only a temporary means.

Deviated Septum Definition, Symptoms and Treatment

Nasal Surgery

While most people who have deviated septum require no treatment but if the breathing issue keeps recurring, then you must consider nasal surgery.

Snoring can cause serious health problems for you and your sleep partner.

The Septoplasty procedure is the most effective solution in reducing your snoring by repairing your nasal septum.

The surgical procedure will reposition your nasal septum by surgically breaking the bone cartilage. The length of the surgery depends on how severe your nasal cavity is blocked.

Once the procedure is complete it will take around two weeks to recover but the tissue may sometimes take a longer period of time to heal.

Final Thoughts

Knowing whether or not you have a deviated symptom is important because sometimes you may not require any form of treatment.

However, if you are facing any difficulty or discomfort in breathing while you sleep, a doctor can refer to the right treatment upon a careful diagnosis.

Most of the time a nasal strip or dilator is effective in reducing your snoring. But what worked for one person may work on another.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will CPAP help with a deviated septum?

CPAP machines help patients who have severe sleep apnea and ensure that the body receives enough oxygen while sleeping. Septoplasty surgery will help eliminate snoring if you have a deviated nasal septum.

Can you fix a deviated septum without surgery?

You can only temporarily fix your deviated septum problems with nasal sprays, nasal strips, or nasal dilator. But a nasal surgery will provide complete freedom from your deviated nasal problems as it is most effective and long-lasting.

How much does deviated septum surgery cost?

A deviated septum surgery should cost around $4,000 to $6,000 in the United States. With insurance, it can be around $500 to $2000.

Does Insurance Cover Deviated Septum Repair?

Yes, most insurances do over deviated septum surgery. However, you must contact your insurance provider to get further clarity for the treatment.

How painful is a septoplasty?

The pain can vary from person to person but it has been reported that it feels like a sinus infection that is distributed across your face. But post-treatment you will be able to get a good night's sleep.

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