Having a deviated septum means that one side of your nose is narrower than the other. Most people's noses aren't exactly symmetrical, but this only becomes a problem if the deviation is severe. In that case, you may suffer from facial pain and frequent headaches. Unfortunately, a deviated septum does not always have clear-cut symptoms. Nevertheless, you should suspect the condition if you:
Experience Frequent Nosebleeds
Frequent nosebleed is one of the tell-tale signs of a deviated septum. This happens because the septum becomes overexposed to airflow, which dries it. With a normal septum, the airflow is smooth due to its aerodynamic shape. If your septum is too dry, then it will tend to crust and bleed even with the tiniest provocation such as a minor bump of the nose.
Prefer Sleeping on One side
You may also be dealing with a deviated septum if you always prefer sleeping on one side of your body. This happens because one side of the nasal passageway is narrower than the other, and sleeping on this narrow side causes breathing difficulties. You may not even be aware that this is what is happening; you may think that you are just comfortable sleeping on that side. You may also find sleeping uncomfortable and bedtime may make you irritable.
Your deviated septum may induce swelling in some of your intranasal tissues. When this happens, the air will force itself to flow through your nasal passageway. The result is that you may develop noticeable breathing difficulties.
Breathing difficulty may also be occasioned by obstruction of the narrower side of your nose. The obstruction may be caused by things that do not trouble other people without the deviation. For example, even the relatively harmless respiratory tract infection such as the common cold may block this narrow side of your nose and cause a breathing difficulty.
Have Continuous Cold Symptoms
Finally, you should also be in the lookout for frequent symptoms of a cold infection. These symptoms include cough, swollen sinuses, mucous buildup, stuffy nose, and even fever. As you can see, these are symptoms usually associated with the common cold, but they can also be occasioned by a deviated septum. This is especially the case if the symptoms do not go away even with the usual medications.
Treating the conditions that exaggerate the blockage or swelling may help, or your ear nose and throat doctor may prescribe surgery to correct the situation. A combination of septoplaty (surgery performed through the nostrils), rhinoplasty (to correct the external appearance of the nose0), and sinus surgery usually helps.