The nasal septum is a thin wall that separates your right and left nasal cavities. Ideally, it is situated in the center of your nose. However, it is estimated that 80 percent of all nasal septum’s are off-center making one nasal passage smaller.
Septal Deviation Symptoms
Those with mild to moderate deviations may be unaware as they don’t experience any symptoms. Patients with severe septal deviation may have difficulties breathing through the nose, which is one of the most common symptoms. Other symptoms may include:
- Blockage of one or both nostrils causing reduced airflow
- Nasal congestion, sometimes only on one-side
- Frequent sinus infections
- Facial pain
- Postnasal drip
- Snoring or difficulty breathing at night
Septal Deviation Causes
Septal deviations are usually the result of nasal trauma, but in some cases, it is just the way the patient’s nose developed during his or her childhood.
Septal deviations can be diagnosed in one of three ways. The first will detect deviations in the front of the nose, while the second and third can detect deviations further back in the nasal passages.
- Step 1 – Examination: A simple examination will detect deviations that may be in front of the nose.
- Step 2 – Nasal Endoscopy: A nasal endoscopy is performed in the office by sliding a tiny camera mounted on a slender telescope and passing it through the nostrils. This procedure is well tolerated, and although some patients may prefer a numbing nasal spray prior to the procedure, generally an endoscopy can be completed with no special medications at all.
- Step 3 – MiniCAT Instant CT Scanner: The MiniCAT Instant CT scanner creates high-quality images of the sinuses in 20 – 40 seconds while the patient sits upright comfortably in an open chair. The low-dose CT uses only 10% of the radiation dose used typically with CT scanners, and the procedure can be performed in the office.