A deviated septum is a condition in which the thin piece of tissue between your nostrils (the septum) is not centered, making one nostril smaller than the other. The septum is the bone and cartilage that divides your nose in half.
A deviated septum can really affect your quality of life both during the daytime with diminished breathing and especially at night, causing decreased levels of oxygen to the brain, a poor night’s sleep, and even snoring. Sometimes a deviated septum can even cause headaches when it touches the inferior turbinate or the side wall of the nose.
Many people were born with their deviated septum but it can also be the result of an injury – common among those that play sports. The American Academy of Otolaryngology estimates that up to 80% of nasal septum’s are not centered and that it’s usually not noticed.
A deviated septum can be diagnosed:
- When the septum is severely off center
- Nose is noticeably crooked