Deviated Nasal Septum

deviated septum illustrationEstimates are that 80 percent of all nasal septums are off-center, a condition that is generally not noticed. A “deviated septum” occurs when the septum is severely shifted away from the midline. The most common symptom from a badly deviated or crooked septum is difficulty breathing through the nose. The symptoms are usually worse on one side, and sometimes actually occur on the side opposite the bend. In some cases the crooked septum can interfere with the drainage of the sinuses, resulting in repeated sinus infections.

Deviated septum can occur as a result of an injury to the nose. People often get these injuries from sports, fighting, or car accidents. A deviated septum can also worsen with age. It can also be congenital. This means that a person was born with it.


Most people with a deviated septum have only a minor deviation. Symptoms are unlikely in these cases. Still, possible symptoms include:

  • difficulty breathing, especially through the nose
  • having one side of the nose that’s easier to breathe through
  • nosebleeds
  • sinus infections
  • dryness in one nostril
  • snoring or loud breathing during sleep
  • nasal congestion or pressure

Severe deviation can be accompanied by facial pain. You should see your doctor if you frequently have nosebleeds or sinus infections. You should also see a doctor if breathing difficulty is affecting your quality of life.

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our ENT Sinus experts.

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