Deviated Septum

ENT located in The Loop, Chicago, IL

Deviated Septum

As many as 8 in 10 Americans have a deviated septum, in which the piece of cartilage dividing the nose skews too far to either side. At Michigan Avenue ENT, esteemed double board-certified ENT specialist Julian Dixon, MD, understands how disruptive a deviated septum can be, and he’s dedicated to giving his patients high-tech solutions for lasting relief. Book your appointment online or call their The Loop, Chicago, Illinois, office now for help with deviated septum.

What is a deviated septum?

A deviated septum means that the cartilage “slice” that divides your nasal cavity isn’t centered. This problem can range from mild deviation to quite severe, and the accompanying symptoms may be unnoticeable to highly disruptive.

If you have a deviated septum, it’s not just you: Up to 80% of Americans have some degree of septal deviation today. Many people are born with a deviated septum; some develop one as they grow. 

Other causes can include sports injuries, fights, and auto accidents. 

What problems can a deviated septum cause?

A deviated septum can cause many disruptive problems in your daily life, such as: 

  • Labored and difficult nasal breathing 
  • Increase in noisy mouth breathing 
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Feeling of sinus fullness
  • Frequent sinus pressure
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Postnasal drip
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Snoring
  • Headaches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Restless sleep

Studies also show that people with deviated septums are more likely to experience obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a potentially fatal condition if untreated. 

How can I tell if I have a deviated septum?

While it’s not a foolproof test, a strong sign that you might have a deviated septum is one nostril being larger than the other when viewed from above or below. Another indicator of a deviated septum is obvious differences in how much air you can inhale through each nostril. 

But, the definitive way to determine if you have a deviated septum and if it’s causing your issues is an evaluation with Dr. Dixon at Michigan Avenue ENT.

I have a deviated septum. Do I need surgery? 

A deviated septum may or may not require surgery. Depending on what kind of issues your deviated septum is causing, there may be a nonsurgical alternative that can give you long-lasting relief. 

Symptom management with medication, for example, nasal sprays and antihistamines, is a common approach for milder congestion and related issues. 

But, if your deviated septum causes breathing problems, facial pain, nosebleeds, or other disruptive daily problems, you may need a minimally invasive procedure to correct the structural integrity of the septum and ease your symptoms. 

Dr. Dixon may recommend a minimally invasive procedure using advanced technology from Acclarent®. It works in a similar no-scalpel way to balloon sinuplasty, but instead of just widening your nasal passages, it straightens your septum. 

To learn more about relief for a deviated septum, call Michigan Avenue ENT or book your consultation online.