According to the Mayo Clinic, you develop a deviated septum when the thin wall inside your nose, known as the nasal septum, is displaced to one side. You can be born with a deviated septum, but most of the time a deviated septum is due to an injury. By following your doctor’s recommendations regarding medication and treatment, along with self-care at home, you can reduce the symptoms of a deviated septum.
A deviated nasal septum can cause obstruction in one or both nostrils, and you’ll have difficulty breathing, as well as postnasal drip at the back of your throat.
Your nose may feel dry, which can result in a nosebleed.
Blocked mucus can cause a sinus infection, with pain in the face and headaches.
If your airway is still obstructed, your nose is chronically inflamed or you’re suffering from frequent nosebleeds, you may need surgery to correct your deviated nasal septum.
During the surgery, the surgeon repositions the nasal septum in the center of your nose.
During your septoplasty, the surgeon may also perform a rhinoplasty, which changes the size or shape of your nose by readjusting the bone and cartilage.
After surgery, many patients no longer have problems with airway obstruction or nosebleeds, but if allergies are the cause of nose inflammation, surgery will not resolve your allergies.
Your doctor may prescribe a decongestant, which will help keep your airways open and relieve a stuffed up nose. Decongestants come in pill form or as a nasal spray.
Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the use of nasal sprays, as you can develop a dependency, and if you try to stop using them, symptoms may worsen.
Antihistamines can relieve a runny nose, which is particularly important to deviated nasal septum sufferers, because if mucus blocks already narrowed nasal passages, you may suffer from a sinus headache, or postnasal drip.
Nasal strips can be bought at a drugstore. These bandage-like strips contain small plastic springs, which you place over the bridge of your nose. While nasal strips won’t have an effect on your deviated nasal septum, they will help the nostrils to open wider, so you can breathe easier.
Nasal irrigation helps wash out trapped particles from your nose, and helps keep the lining of the nose moist.
You can use a commercial saline solution, or mix your own solution at home. To mix a saline solution that has a salt content similar to your body fluids, use 1/4 tsp. salt, 8 oz. warm water, and ¼ tsp. baking soda.
A neti pot looks like a teapot, but has a conical tip at the end of the spout, that you can fill with solution and insert in your nose, or you can use a syringe.
Nasal Irrigation Instructions
Stand over the sink with your head lowered, to prevent water from dripping on you or the floor.
Turn your neck to one side, so that the nostril on that side is down.
Pour the solution from your container into the nostril that is elevated. The solution will flow out of the lower nostril, and into the sink.
Blow your nose gently to remove any remaining moisture, than repeat with the other nostril.