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Sleep Library / Does a Deviated Septum Cause Snoring? Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Does a Deviated Septum Cause Snoring? Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

What is a Deviated Septum

A Deviated Septum is a congenital deformity in which the nasal septum (bone and cartilage) that form the partition between one's nostrils are crooked or not properly aligned at the center, making breathing difficult.

Estimates indicate that most people have some sort of imbalance and misalignment to their nasal septum. However, only very few cases can cause significant breathing problems and require treatment. Meaning a minor deviation might not be too bothersome if one's nostrils can still take in air without any struggling.

How Does a Deviated Septum Cause Snoring?

Deviated septum snoring is caused when the nose tissue is pushed to one side, thus creating an uneven flow of air through the nostrils. While the cause for a deviated septum may be the result of a broken nose, many people have a deviated septum because of genetics that influences the makeup of their nose. Having a deviated septum does not necessarily mean that you will snore. In fact, nearly 80% of people have an uneven balance of tissue within their noses. However, if you snore regularly, a deviated septum may be the reason.

Symptoms Of A Deviated Septum.

It may not be easy to know whether or not you have a deviated septum causing snoring. After all, the inside of your nose is not visible. However, few signs may indicate that you do have an uneven airflow due to the makeup of your nose. Such deviated septum symptoms are:

Uneven/Difficulty Breathing

Nasal misalignments often make it difficult for you to breathe. This problem usually becomes more apparent when you experience nasal congestion caused by allergies or a cold. The air can't pass through one side of your nasal passage easily, so it takes longer to move from each lung for you to get enough oxygen. A stuffy nose leaves less room on either side of the nostrils, which restricts air flow even further, resulting in an uneven flow pressure that ultimately makes breathing feel harder than normal.

Frequent Sinus Infections

The more clogged your airway is, the more likely you are to develop frequent sinus infections. This is because the build-up of polluted air in your nasal passages is infected by very fine dust particles, microscopic organisms, and bacterias. The more they add up and multiply within your nasal cavities, the higher the risk that you'll be exposed to infections from them which may cause sinusitis or a full-blown sinus infection.

Constant Nasal Congestion/Headaches

Deviated septum disrupts the free and natural flow of air through your nasal passages, causing your head sometimes to feel stuffy. That built-up pressure is what normally leads to occasional headaches. It can also make your face feel sore and painful.

Regular Nosebleeds

When your nasal septum is curved, dryness becomes a major problem for all of the sensitive membranes in your nose. This is because air has a harder time passing through your nose. This lack of moisture makes you more susceptible to frequent nosebleeds because there's not enough moisture to keep those delicate tissues moist.

Snoring/disrupted Sleep.

Nasal congestion caused by a deviated septum can lead to loud breathing and snoring during sleep. This occurs because the uneven nasal passage can't push enough clean air through your nose, so it has to resort to taking in more air from other parts of your mouth and throat. This could lead to snoring and sleep obstruction –making it hard to get to sleep or stay asleep. If left untreated, this can lead to more serious problems like sleep apnea, a potentially serious condition where breathing stops completely for a few seconds during sleep.

While these symptoms may be included in a variety of other health problems and suggest that snoring is bad for your health, they can also indicate that you have a deviated septum.

What Causes A Deviated Septum?

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, many cases of deviated septum were caused by genetic factors. Either it is inherited from one's parents or may result from other babies' deformities during birth. For instance, if the head is not properly lined up with the body during delivery, then this can lead to a misalignment of the nasal septum.

Any surgical or physical trauma that resulted from an accident can also cause a deviated septum. This is because injuries, especially in the nose area, can affect the nasal partition's positioning and result in deviated septum deformity.

Does a Deviated Septum Cause Snoring?

For a long time, the question "Does a Deviated Septum Cause Snoring?" has been asked. There are a number of reasons a person may snore. Some common reasons may be the position that they sleep or perhaps if they have nasal congestion. However, one of the main reasons a person may snore is due to a deviated septum.

Sleep Apnea Also Causes Snoring

 Deviated Septum And Snoring

Snoring does not have to be a normal part of your sleep, and knowing whether or not you have a deviated septum can also save you the trouble of other potential health problems. Allowing your breathing to continue to be uneven can lead to even more serious problems such as sleep apnea. This is a sleep disorder that is caused when your breathing becomes irregular during rest. Because this sleep disorder poses another set of health risks, it is important to know if you have a deviated septum of the nose and whether or not it is serious enough for correction.

What To Do If Your Deviated Septum Is Causing Snoring

If you suspect that you may be experiencing deviated septum snoring, you should discuss it with a doctor and what your options may be. In fact, it is a simple exam with a tool called a nasal speculum that will indicate to your doctor whether or not your nostrils are being blocked by tissue inside your nose. The nasal endoscopy helps in diagnosing some problems like sleep apnea, the cause of your snoring. If the doctor finds that you have a deviated septum, they'll recommend and prescribe how to manage your symptoms.

In the rare case that your deviated nasal septum is serious, you might be recommended for septoplasty surgery where either cartilage or bone may be taken out to realign your nasal passage. In some cases, rhinoplasty surgery (reshaping of the nose) can be performed simultaneously as septoplasty to modify the size/shape of the bone and cartilage.

Deviated nasal septum can be successfully treated, and many people can cure their snoring altogether.

Mild Home Treatment For Deviated Nasal Septum.

Decongestants

Decongestants help reduce nasal tissue swelling, helping to keep both of your airways open. Decongestants are available in pill form or as nasal spray.

NOTE: Use nasal spray decongestant with caution. Excessive and frequent use can cause dependency or worsen your symptoms (cause a rebound) after you stop using them. Oral decongestants also have side effects if used frequently and continuously than prescribed. They have a stimulant effect and may cause you to be jittery or make your blood pressure & heart rate go up.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines are medications used to relieve allergy symptoms, including a stuffy or runny nose. They can also sometimes help nonallergic conditions such as those that occur due to mild colds. It's best to take antihistamines when at home resting as they can cause drowsiness, affecting your ability to perform everyday tasks that require physical coordination, such as driving.

Nasal steroid sprays.

Prescription nasal corticosteroid sprays are an easy and effective way to reduce swelling in your nasal passage. The medication helps with draining, which can make it easier for you to breathe more easily! It usually takes a week or two before the spray has reached its maximum effect, so be sure not to discontinue use prematurely and follow your doctor's directions.