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Ohio Head & Neck Surgeons provide answers to the most frequently asked questions and best care practices for ear, nose, and throat (ENT) diseases and disorders, allergy, hearing loss, and cosmetic treatments.

Image of a "normal" septum vs. a "deviated septum"

Deviated Septum

A deviated septum is when the thin wall between your nasal passages is displaced to one side. This means one side of the nasal passage is smaller than the other.

A severely deviated septum can block one side of the nose and reduce airflow, making it difficult to breathe. Treatment can include medications to reduce swelling. However, surgery will be needed to correct the deviated septum.


If you have a slightly deviated septum, it’s possible you may not experience any symptoms. However, a deviated septum can have the following signs and symptoms:
· Obstruction of one or both nostrils. This can make it difficult to breathe, and you may notice it more when you have a cold or are experiencing allergies that cause your nasal passages to swell and narrow.
· Your nasal septum may become dry, which increases your chances of getting a nosebleed.
· It’s possible you may experience one-sided facial pain because the surfaces within the nose touch and cause pressure.
· A deviated septum can be a reason for noisy breathing in your sleep.
· A nasal cycle is when the nose alternates between being obstructed on one side and then the other. Being aware of this cycle isn’t typical and can be a sign of nasal obstruction.
· Some people prefer to sleep a certain way — such as on their left or right side — to optimize breathing through the nose at night if one nasal passage is narrower than the other.

Treating with Surgery

If you continue to experience symptoms despite medical therapy, it may be time to consider surgery to correct your deviated septum.

A septoplasty is a surgery that straightens the nasal septum and repositions it in the center of the nose. It may require the surgeon to cut and remove parts of the septum then reinsert it in the proper position.

The effectiveness of this surgery depends on the severity of your septum deviation. Symptoms caused by the deviation — such as nasal obstruction — can go away completely. However, you may still experience other nasal or sinus conditions such as allergies.

At Ohio Head and Neck Surgeons, we understand your concerns when seeking diagnosis and treatment options for Ear, Nose, and Throat injuries and diseases. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our quality ENT specialists. For more information on scheduling click here.

To prepare for your first appointment, you can also visit our New Patients page to find important forms you will need at your appointment including registration and health history.

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