About 80 percent of the world’s population has a deviated septum. While a sports injury, car accident or other trauma can be the cause of the defective nose, for others, it is something they were born with. These injuries change the shape or placement of the cartilage between the nostrils in the nose. Many people don’t realize that the nostril cartilage in their nose is what causes problems with breathing. Someone with frequent sinus infections, sleep apnea or loss of smell may visit a nose specialist for treatment. After an examination, a nose specialist would be able to identify a defective septum. Modern medical imaging tests are the best way for a doctor to determine these problems with the septum.
Plastic surgeons or other nose specialists understand the intricate parts of the inside of the nostrils, including the septum. When the septum is perfect, it is 100 percent symmetrical and even, but very few individuals have a perfect nose structure. While small deviations in the interior structure of the nose cause no symptoms, a larger abnormality can lead to many issues. These issues may include poor sleep, facial pain, or snoring. A surgeon will check each structure of the septum, including:
• Ethnoid bone – separates the brain from the nasal cavity
• Vomer – a facial bone located in the skull
• Nasal bone – located between the eyes on the bridge of the nose
Several bones of the nose and septum join to bones located in the facial area or skull, and specialized skill during a rhinoplasty surgery is always required to avoid causing damage. This is because the septum has thin skin tissue, nerves and tiny capillaries that are extremely sensitive.
Congenital problems with the nose are a common occurrence. These problems often lead to the desire for a rhinoplasty procedure from a skilled plastic surgeon. There are several specific types of septum issues that a doctor can identify at birth. Ehlers-Danlos or Marfan syndrome, rare genetic disorders, most commonly cause septum issues. In most cases, physicians prefer to wait until a patient is in their late teens before performing nose surgery. However, if the defective nose causes difficulty when the patient breathes, a surgical procedure could be required when they are an infant.
If you think you may have a deviated septum, consider reaching out to your physician or a trusted doctor of rhinoplasty.