Deviated Septum

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

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Deviated septum facts

  • The thin wall between the nostrils is made of cartilage and bone, and is called the septum. When this is off-center or crooked, it is called a deviated septum.
  • A deviated septum may be present at birth, may become crooked during growth, or may be caused by injury to the nose and face.
  • A deviated septum often does not have any symptoms, but some symptoms include difficulty breathing through the nose, nasal congestion, sinus infections, nosebleeds, sleep problems, headache, and postnasal drip.
  • Some symptoms of deviated septum may be treated with medication. More severe cases of deviated septum may require surgery to repair the septum.

What is the definition of deviated septum?

The wall between your nostrils is called your nasal septum. The septum is made up of bone and cartilage. When this cartilage or bone is off-center (deviated to one side) or crooked, it is referred to as a deviated septum.

What are the causes of deviated septum?

Most people do not have a perfectly straight septum, but it may be misaligned due to a two main causes:

  • A person can be born with a deviated septum (congenital), or it can bend due to normal growth during childhood.
  • Another cause of deviated septum is injury or trauma, such as a broken nose.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/20/2015
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