Many people have a deviated septum that causes no problems, but if yours is severe enough to affect your breathing, visit Silicon Valley ENT & Sinus Center: Philip T. Ho, MD, FACS, in Los Gatos, California. Dr. Ho is a board-certified otolaryngologist with considerable experience in assessing and correcting nasal obstructions. Call Silicon Valley ENT & Sinus Center to schedule an appointment, or request one online today.
Your septum is the cartilage and bone separating your nostrils. If it’s off-center (deviated), one nostril will be smaller than the other, causing nasal obstruction. A severely deviated septum can block one nostril entirely, affecting your ability to breathe through your nose and increasing your risk of infection.
Sometimes people are born with a deviated septum. In other cases, it only develops after a facial injury involving nasal trauma.
Most people’s deviated septums are so mild that they have no symptoms. However, severe deviations may affect your breathing and cause or worsen problems, such as:
A severely abnormal septum could affect your appearance and self-confidence.
Turbinate swelling is a problem that can cause similar symptoms to a deviated septum. The turbinates are bony structures inside your nose covered with mucosa. They help to warm, filter, and add moisture to the air you breathe. Mucosal swelling can block your nasal passages, making the effects of your deviated septum more severe.
Medical treatments, such as antihistamines, nasal decongestants, and nasal corticosteroid sprays, can ease breathing restrictions in patients with mild to moderate deviated septum symptoms.
Allergy care — reducing exposure to allergens and, in some cases, immunotherapy — can also help if you suffer from a respiratory allergy. Dr. Ho works closely with allergists to ensure you receive optimal care.
Other treatment options include:
VivAER uses a small wand to deliver radiofrequency energy to the tissues inside your nose. Dr. Ho remodels the tissues so they no longer obstruct your nasal passages.
RhinAer uses radiofrequency energy to calm the nerves causing mucus overproduction and shrink inflamed tissues.
ClariFix uses cryotherapy (freezing) technology to interrupt signals from your nerves, causing the nasal passages to drip and swell.
You might also benefit from radiofrequency turbinate reduction to reduce swollen turbinates.
If you have a severely deviated septum, Dr. Ho may recommend septoplasty. Septoplasty involves separating the membrane covering the septum’s bone and cartilage and removing the deviated tissue. Dr. Ho performs septoplasty on an outpatient basis, so you go home the same day.
If you have a deviated septum or other problems restricting nasal breathing, call Silicon Valley ENT & Sinus Center or book an appointment online today for an expert evaluation and treatment.