Deviated Septum

The nasal septum is the cartilage and bone that divides the nose into two halves.

It is estimated that 80 percent of the population has some degree of their nasal septum being off centre and most go unnoticed.

A deviated septum occurs when the septum is severely shifted from the midline. The most common symptom of a severely deviated septum is difficulty with breathing through the nose.

Causes of a Deviated Septum

A deviated septum occurs when your nasal septum is displaced to one side. A deviated septum can be a condition that is present at birth and can occur during the development and growth of the foetus.

A deviated septum can also be the result of trauma or injury that causes the nasal septum to move out of alignment. Trauma to the nose commonly occurs during contact sports, car accidents or even active play or roughhousing.  In infants, an injury may even occur during the process of child birth.


Symptoms of a Deviated Septum

You may experience:

  • Frequent nose bleeds
  • Noisy breathing while asleep
  • Blockage of one or both nostrils
  • Frequent sinus infections
  • Facial pain
  • Postnasal drip
  • Headaches


During your appointment, Dr Katzen doctor will ask about any symptoms that you have.  The inside of your nose will need to be examined, and to do this we will use an instrument called a nasal speculum. This is designed to help spread your nostrils for a clearer view.

At times, we may need to check further back into your nose with an endoscope, which is a thin tubular instrument that has a bright light and camera attached to it.

Treatment of a Deviated Septum

Depending on the severity of the deviation, there are options for treatment which may include:

Prescription nasal steroid sprays can reduce inflammation in your nasal passage and help with obstruction.

Decongestants are medications that reduce nasal tissue swelling and helps to keep the airways open. These are available as a tablet or a nasal spray. Nasal sprays must always be used with caution. If you use them too often and for too long you can develop a dependency to them and they can have a rebound affect causing your symptoms to worsen.

Deviated septum surgery may be the recommended treatment if the deviated septum is severe and causing troublesome symptoms. This procedure is called a septoplasty surgery and is performed entirely through the nostrils. Septoplasty surgery may also be combined with sinus surgery and done right here in Sydney. If you are concerned about the cost of deviated septum surgery, call our practice here in Sydney to discuss this.