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Deviated Septum Treatment Options

Author: Sara Goldstein

Published: 2011-06-25

Synopsis and Key Points:

Rhinoplasty can be combined with septoplasty if you want to improve both the appearance and function of your nose.

Main Digest

A deviated septum is when the wall that divides your nostrils does not run straight down the middle, but turns slightly to one side or the other. This deviation can constrict one or both nostrils, and can lead to a number of chronic symptoms that can diminish your quality of life.

It is estimated that perhaps 80% of all people have a deviated septum. Are you one of them

Some of the more common deviated septum symptoms include:

Nasal blockage

Nasal congestion

Facial pain and sinus headaches

Postnasal drip

Frequent nosebleeds

Frequent sinus infections

Noisy breathing during sleep (especially for children)

These symptoms may come and go, presenting themselves only when aggravated by allergies or by colds. In more severe cases, these may be year-round symptoms, perpetually causing pain and discomfort.

When to See a Doctor

If these symptoms persist, you should talk to your doctor about the possibility of a deviated septum and get a referral to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Of particular concern are recurring sinus infections and frequent nosebleeds, or a blocked nostril that doesn't respond to treatment for two to three weeks.

Treatment Options

There are many treatment options your ear, nose, and throat specialist may recommend. If your deviated septum only causes problems in conjunction with allergies and colds, treatment of those conditions may be recommended as a temporary measure. You may be treated with decongestants, antihistamines, and cortisone sprays. If these do not give adequate relief, your doctor may recommend deviated septum surgery, also called septoplasty.

Septoplasty and Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty can be combined with septoplasty if you want to improve both the appearance and function of your nose. If you have already been considering a rhinoplasty prior to your diagnosis of a deviated septum, you should talk to a plastic surgeon about the possibility of combining the surgeries.

You can learn more about deviated septum repair and rhinoplasty on the website of Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Eugene Kim at

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