A deviated septum can be a mild misalignment of the nasal passages that doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms, or it can be a serious health condition. In fact, it’s estimated that about 80% of people have some form of misalignment within their nasal passages. However, a deviated septum shouldn’t be ignored and it’s important to look into treatment options to prevent both short-term and long-term health-related conditions. If you’ve been diagnosed with a deviated septum, speak with your doctor about appropriate treatment options to minimize the risk of it affecting your health long-term.
What Are the Health Risks of Not Fixing a Deviated Septum?
While some people have such a mild form of nasal septum misalignment that they don’t even know they have a deviated septum, others with noticeable symptoms will want to look into permanent treatment options if they don’t wish to live with the pain and discomforts their entire lives. A deviated septum is not something that will simply dissipate on its own. When left untreated, there’s a greater risk of it actually worsening.
Those with a deviated septum can also experience frequent sinus infections throughout their lives. Chronic sinus infections lead to chronic inflammation and irritation in the nasal passages, which can lead to other serious infections like infections of the eye and brain. Although rare, untreated sinus infections can spread to the brain or to the tissue surrounding the brain. If an infection spreads to the brain, you are at risk for seizures and brain damage.
An untreated deviated septum can also lead to a serious condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when a person temporarily stops breathing at night during sleep. People with sleep apnea stop breathing temporarily multiple times during sleep. When someone stops breathing, the brain and rest of the body does not get the oxygen it needs to perform properly and nourish itself. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when a blockage in the airway restricts oxygen flow. An untreated deviated septum can cause obstructive sleep apnea.
When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, heart attacks, diabetes, depression, worsening of ADHD and headaches. Sleep apnea can also lead to poor performance at work or school, car crashes and academic underachievement in children.
In addition to sinus infections, sleep apnea and the conditions that can occur concurrently, people with deviated septums may also experience headaches, facial pain, nosebleeds and nasal obstructions.
Learn More About Deviated Septum Treatments
If you or a loved one has a deviated septum and it is affecting their quality of life, get in touch with our Nasal Surgery department by calling (855) 360-9119 or through our online contact form. Receive more information about our treatment options for a deviated septum and to schedule your obligation-free consultation.