What Are The Symptoms Of A Deviated Septum?

A common myth is that the nose never stops growing. While this isn't exactly true, WebMD explains that the nose does change as we age. This is often due to the weakening of cartilage and the effects of gravity on the skin. Injuries, too, can change the shape of the nose over time.

For many people, changes to their noses may be little more than an aesthetic concern. In other cases, these changes can lead to a deviated septum, where the section of cartilage and bone that separates the nostrils becomes off-center (per Cleveland Clinic). Other causes of a deviated septum include nasal trauma from sports and other accidents, connective tissue disease, and injury during childbirth. It can also form naturally during development.

According to theĀ Mayo Clinic Health System, deviated septums are one of the most common nose deformities, with up to 80% of people having a noticeable septal deviation. Still, many people are unaware that they have the condition, especially if they don't know the symptoms of it.

Signs you may have a deviated septum

According to theĀ Mayo Clinic, a proper diagnosis of a deviated septum can come from a doctor, who can examine the inside of the nose. This may involve using a bright light and, sometimes, a long scope to check the back of the nasal cavity. However, there are also common signs of a deviated symptom that can help you determine if you have one.

The most common symptom is having a stuffy nose on one side (per WebMD). This can make it difficult to breathe and may also cause loud breathing and snoring while sleeping. Ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Mani H. Zadeh suggests doing a self-check by placing a finger over one nostril at a time, breathing through the other side, and paying attention to any unevenness. People with a deviated septum often notice that one side is more difficult to breathe through than the other.

Other symptoms may include regular nosebleeds, pain in the face and head, and postnasal drip. People with a deviated septum might also experience conditions like sleep apnea and chronic sinus infections.

MedicalNewsToday points out that symptoms related to septal deviation may be mistaken for another condition, such as a cold or allergies. If symptoms don't improve, speak to a doctor or get a second opinion, especially if breathing troubles are interfering with your daily life.