Nasal septal deviations are common, and it is rare for doctors to see a perfectly straight nasal septum--the dividing line of cartilage between your two nostrils.
Tubinate hypertrophy is due to an enlargement of the turbinates- the small structures within your nose that cleanse and humidify air as it passes through your nostrils into your lungs. See how the sinuses work.
• Congested or blocked nasal breathing
• Breathing trouble at night and snoring
• Chronic nosebleeds
• Chronic sinus infections
When septal deviations do cause problems, they are largely due to airway obstruction. It simply feels as though you cannot breathe well through one or both sides of your nose. This tends to bother people more at night. Nasal septal deviations can also cause sinus problems and may contribute to chronic infections.
Patients may also suffer from enlargement of the inferior nasal turbinates. See how the sinuses work. The enlargement of these turbinates can also contribute to nasal obstruction
Diagnosing septal deviations/turbinate hypertrophy will include the following:
- Your doctor will ask for a complete medical history and will perform a thorough physical examination.
- Imaging scans may be ordered including computed tomography (CT) scans.
- Your doctor will use an endoscope, a small telescope rod with a lighted end, to examine the insides of your nose. This will allow your doctor to determine the extent of the deviation or turbinate hypertrophy.
Nasal steroids sprays can be used for problems associated with nasal septal deviations and turbinate hypertrophy. These medications help to reduce mucosal inflammation and therefore decongest the nose improving nasal breathing.
However when the septum or turbinate bony structures are causing nasal obstruction or medications fail to improve symptoms, surgery is often required. This surgery may involve straightening the septum (septoplasty) or turbinate reduction (turbinoplasty).