Symptoms and causes

What is it?

A deviation of the nasal septum is a misalignment of the nasal wall.

The nasal septum forms the separation between the left and right nasal cavities and consists of cartilage and bone covered with a layer of mucous membrane.

Origin

A nasal septum degeneration can occur after a trauma (e.g. birth trauma while passing through the birth canal, fall on the nose, blow) or over the years due to a skewed outgrowth of the cartilage and/or bone. Usually a skewed septum is not visible externally, but in pronounced cases, it can have an influence on the appearance of the nose.

In the vast majority of the population, the nasal septum is not completely straight; consequently, there is a nasal septum deviation. However, this usually results in few or no symptoms.

Symptoms

Symptoms that can be linked to a nasal septum degeneration:

  • nasal obstruction
  • sinusitis (obstruction of the normal nasal secretion drainage)
  • pain in the nose due to pressure of the deviation on the nasal wall

Diagnosis and treatment

The physician will examine your nose using a headlamp and endoscope. If necessary, additional tests (e.g. nasal breathing test, allergy test, etcetera) will be carried out or medical imaging may be required.

The treatment of a nasal septum degeneration is a surgical correction of the nasal septum, which is called a 'septoplasty'.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Ear, nose, and throat diseases

Latest publication date: 21/01/2021
Supervising author: Dr Marin Eline