A deviated septum is a deformity of the wall that separates one nostril from the other. It occurs when the nasal septum between your nasal passages is displaced to one side. This causes one nasal passage to be smaller than the other, obstructing breathing.
With airflow reduced by the blockage of a nostril, breathing can be difficult with a deviated septum. Crusting or bleeding may occur in certain cases when a deviated septum becomes dry from experiencing prolonged airflow.
Swelling of nasal tissue and a deviated septum can cause nasal obstruction. There are medications, as well as nasal dilators, to help treat nasal obstructions. However, surgery is necessary in order to fully correct a deviated septum.
You may not even know you have a deviated septum. Symptoms of a deviated septum include:
Obstruction of one or both nostrils
Facial pressure or pain
Noisy breathing or snoring during sleep
Preference for sleeping on a particular side
When to seek treatment
If you experience any of the following, you should consider seeing a physician:
Blocked nostril or nostrils that is unresponsive to treatment