A deviated septum often refers to the crooked or off-center nasal septum. The nasal septum is the part of the nose consisting of bone and cartilage that divides the nasal cavity in half. There are many individuals who have this issue. It has even been estimated that as many as 80% of the population have some degree of misalignment of their nasal septum. Most are born with it, while some may develop a deviated septum after experiencing trauma or injury to the nose. The normal process of aging can also worsen they symptoms of a deviated nasal septum.
Risk factors for a deviated nasal septum includes injury during childbirth, playing contact sports, and not using a seat belt when in a car. Complications of a deviated nasal septum include chronic mouth breathing and disturbed sleep. A diagnosis can be made when a doctor examines the inside of the nose with a bright light and a nasal speculum. Treatment is only required for severe cases as it can negatively impact the quality of life. It may involve the use of decongestants, antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, and surgical repair.
Symptom #1: Nose Bleeds
A nose bleed is also known as epistaxis. It is usually only noticed when blood flows out through the nostrils. Nose bleeds can be divided into anterior and posterior types. In severe cases of nose bleeds the blood can flow into the stomach and result in nausea and vomiting. While the sight of a nose bleed can be alarming, it is rarely fatal and is fairly common.
As many as 60% of the population has experienced a nose bleed at some point in life. Besides occurring as a symptom of a deviated nasal septum, it can also be seen when there is blunt trauma, excessive nose picking, rhinitis, low humidity of inhaled air, and intranasal tumors.