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Deviated Septum Specialist

Downtown ENT: B. Thuy Le, MD

Otolaryngologist located in New York, NY

Around 80% of Americans live with a deviated septum, but most don’t have symptoms. However, if your condition is severe, you may have obstructed breathing and chronic nasal congestion and sinus problems. At Downtown ENT, in SoHo, Manhattan, B. Thuy Le, MD, a board-certified otolaryngologist, diagnoses and treats deviated septum. If you live in New York City and have symptoms of a deviated septum, call Downtown ENT or schedule an appointment online today.

Deviated Septum Q&A

What is a deviated septum?

Your septum is the thin layer of mostly cartilage that separates your nasal cavities. While most people have evenly spaced nasal cavities, others have a deviated septum that causes uneven or blocked nasal passage and sometimes even blocks the sinuses.

A deviated septum could be a congenital abnormality, or it could result from an injury or other nasal or facial surgery. For example, many athletes have deviated septum from collisions during contact sports. You can also get a deviated septum from other injuries. It could be an after-effect of a surgery for another problem in the nose or face.

What are the signs of a deviated septum?

Most patients with deviated septum are without any symptoms. However, if your condition is significant, you might experience:

  • Problems breathing through your nose
  • Only being able to breathe through one nostril
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Snoring or loud breathing while you sleep
  • Nasal congestion and pressure
  • Nasal or sinus dryness
  • Facial pain

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, contact Dr. Le at Downtown ENT for diagnosis and customized treatment. 

How is a deviated septum diagnosed?

During your consultation with Dr. Le, she reviews your symptoms and medical history. Then, she uses a bright light to look inside your nostrils. She might need to use a thin, flexible scope to examine further back in your nose and sinuses. These tests allow Dr. Le to assess the severity of your condition and identify the best treatment for you. 

How is a deviated septum treated?

If your condition is mild, Dr. Le might recommend medication to manage your symptoms. For example, decongestants and nasal steroid sprays can keep your nasal passages and sinuses open so you can breathe easily. 

However, if your condition is more severe and conservative treatments don’t relieve your symptoms, Dr. Le might suggest surgery to repair your septum. Septoplasty is the standard surgery to straighten and reposition your septum to improve your breathing and sinus flow. 

Dr. Le can usually complete septoplasty in about 15minutes under local anesthesia with sedation in an ambulatory hospital.  Full general anesthesia is usually not necessary.  This reduces risk and ensures you are still fully comfortable during the short procedure.  You can go home to recover on the same day after a brief observation. You need to elevate your head while you’re sleeping and avoid blowing your nose while you recover.

If you’re concerned about a deviated septum, call Downtown ENT or schedule an appointment online today.