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What Causes a Deviated Septum?

January 28, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_wiesman @ 8:31 pm
Illustration comparing normal vs. deviated nasal septum

A deviated nasal septum is a condition that occurs when the bone and cartilage in the middle of the nose are off-center. This issue can cause breathing difficulties, headaches, nosebleeds, and even obstructive sleep apnea. It can also affect the shape of your nose. What can cause a deviated septum, and is there any way to prevent and/or correct this issue? Continue reading below to discover important information.

Causes of a Deviated Septum

In some cases, a deviated septum is present from birth. During fetal development, the septum may simply grow in a way that causes it to be off-center. In other instances, a baby’s septum is injured during the birthing process. In fact, neonatal septal deviation is present in about 20% of all newborns (it occurs more commonly with vaginal delivery than with C-sections).

A deviated septum can also occur later in life due to a traumatic facial injury. For example, you might develop this problem if you are in a car accident (particularly if you are not wearing a seatbelt), you take a blow to the face during sports, or you get involved in a physical altercation.

Preventing a Deviated Septum

In most cases, it is possible to prevent a deviated septum in adults and active children by taking a few simple precautions:

  • Always wear your seatbelt when you ride in a motor vehicle.
  • Always wear proper protective gear when you play sports.
  • Hold onto the handrails when you are ascending or descending a staircase.
  • Exercise extreme care when you walk on slippery or uneven surfaces.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation (heavy alcohol consumption increases the risks of accidents and falls).

Correcting a Deviated Septum

Regardless of what caused your deviated septum, this issue deserves to be addressed if it is adversely affecting your quality of life. Consult with a facial plastic surgeon to learn about your options. They may recommend that you undergo a minor surgery known as septoplasty, which can correct the shape of your septum and may help you to breathe more easily. The procedure has already been used to help millions of people, and it is generally considered to be both safe and effective.

(As a side note, it is important to remember that if you were born with a deviated septum, corrective surgery might not be recommended until you are in your teen years.)

A deviated septum is a common and correctable problem! Talk with a qualified doctor to learn more about this issue and how it can be treated.

Meet the Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Gary Wiesman is a facial plastic surgeon who has decades of experience in his field. He is well-qualified to perform numerous procedures, including septoplasty, rhinoplasty, and more. If you have a deviated septum and would like to consult with Dr. Wiesman, contact our Chicago office at 312-796-5550.

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