A deviated septum is a common impairment of the nose. In fact, most people have a deviated septum to some degree. It occurs when the nasal septum- the thin wall that separates the nostrils- is displaced and shifted to one side. This deviation makes one nasal passage smaller than the other.

Many with a deviated septum never have symptoms severe enough to give notice. For others, however, the problem and symptoms of a deviated septum are obvious and impact their overall health and quality of life.

Here are the five most common symptoms of a deviated septum:

1. Breathing Difficulties: One of the more common signs of a deviated septum is trouble breathing. The reason is simple: when air passages are misaligned, it is more difficult to fully inhale and pass air freely to the lungs.

2. Nosebleeds: With a deviated septum, the nasal septum is often dry. This dryness can cause frequent and recurring nosebleeds.

3. Recurring Sinus Infections: Sinus infections are common with a deviated septum. When a nasal passage is blocked it can lead to sinus pressure and cold symptoms.

4. Facial Pain & Headaches: The blockage caused by a deviated septum can cause pain and pressure, which can cause headaches and facial pain.

5. Sleep Disturbances: Because it is difficult to sleep when experiencing pain and congestion, many people also have problems getting to sleep and/or staying asleep.

All of these symptoms can be problematic. In some, the obstruction isn’t in only one nostril—it’s present in both nostrils. This can result in life-threatening conditions like sleep apnea.

A deviated septum can be caused by an injury, or it may be a condition present at birth. Over time, the problem gets worse, not better. If you experience any of the above symptoms that haven’t gotten better despite the use of medication, consult with your Harley Street London Rhinoplasty specialist to explore your options and determine if septoplasty surgery would benefit you.