The nasal septum (which when deviated is known as a deviated septum) is the part of the nose which supports, separates both the nostrils into two equal halves. When this septum is deviated for any reason, the condition is known as a deviated septum.
Purpose of the Septum and the Disruption Caused by a Deviated Septum
The major functions performed by the nasal septum are:
- Support: The primary function of the nasal septum is to support the nose structurally to ensure that it stays in its correct position. Additionally the nasal septum also supports the mucous membrane.
- Airflow: The second and equally important function of the nasal septum is to separate the nostrils into two equal halves, thereby ensuring the smooth and free flow of air during respiration.
Disruptions Caused by a Deviated Septum
When the septum becomes deviated (because of any reason), based on severity of the condition, smooth airflow during respiration will be disrupted. This disruption will cause many of the breathing related problems which people with a deviated septum suffer from such as snoring, congestion, susceptibility to allergies etc. Additionally if the septum is severely deviated, it will prevent the drainage of the sinus (thereby causing recurring sinus infections).
Symptoms of a Deviated Septum
Based on the symptoms which you exhibit you can easily determine if you have a deviated septum or not. The common Symptoms of a deviated septum are:
- Nose bleeds
- Recurring sinus infections
- Susceptibility to colds and allergies
Please also see our dedicated article for detailed information on the symptoms of a deviated septum
Composition of the Nasal Septum
The nasal septum is made of the following components:
- Vomer Bone
- Crest of the maxillary and palatine bone
- Ethmoid bone
Usually only the cartilage will be deviated, but if the amount of trauma the nose is exposed to is large, then even the bone can become deviated. Either way both are known as a deviated septum.