Deviated Nasal Septum
The nasal septum is the wall that separates the left and right nostrils. A centered septum allows air to flow equally through each nostril. With a deviated nasal septum, the wall is not centered.
A deviated septum may cause no symptoms at all. In severe cases, airflow through one or both nostrils may be blocked. A blocked nostril may cause chronic stuffiness and a tendency to get sinus infections .
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Most people will not require treatment. In severe cases, surgery may be needed. Surgery on the septum alone is called septoplasty . It relieves nasal blockage by centering the septum between the 2 nostrils.
Sometimes surgery to reshape the nose ( rhinoplasty ) is performed at the same time. The 2 procedures together are called septorhinoplasty. Children who need surgery usually wait until they have stopped growing, around age 16.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Deviated Septum)
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery http://www.entnet.org
American Society of Plastic Surgeons https://www.plasticsurgery.org
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery https://www.entcanada.org
Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons http://plasticsurgery.ca
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Septal deviation and perforation. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/ear,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/nose-and-paranasal-sinus-disorders/septal-deviation-and-perforation. Updated September 2017. Accessed March 27, 2018.
Your nose, the guardian of your lungs. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/content/your-nose-guardian-your-lungs. Accessed March 27, 2018.