Can a Deviated Septum Cause Headaches and Migraines? (photo)

I have been having migraine type headaches for some time but the focus of pain is generally inside my right eye socket and around the bridge of my nose. My neurologist does not think that this could be the cause but I know in some people it can .. I did have a nasal operation 15 years ago to straighten the appearance of my nose but i think it was pretty basic .. I am not an expert on scans but attach a grab of the scan the neuro did on my brain which i think causes a deviation - Thanks !

Doctor Answers 2

Septal deviation can cause facial pain

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The scan shows at least a bit of right sided septal "spur".  This is the bony part of the septum.  Is this more severe on other cuts of the MRI?  It is certainly thought that a severe enough spur can cause "contact point" headaches due to the deviated area actually touching the lateral nasal wall.  This might happen if you had a cold that caused the mucosa in the opposing areas to swell and then be physically contacting each other with some pressure.  I have had many patients have relief of symptoms like you describe after septoplasty to remove a bony spur.  The question in your case is whether the spur is severe enough to be causing the problem.  You should have an ENT take a look at the whole scan and probably put a scope in your nose to check it out.  One test that I have patients try is to put Afrin in the nose when they are having an episode.  If Afrin helps, this may be diagnostic of a nasal source of the pain.  Good luck!


Richmond Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Septums and headaches

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Generally speaking a deviated septum will not cause facial pain.  The main symptom of a septal deviation is nasal blockage.

Some unusual migraines can have a "trigger" localized to a sinus cavity - operating on the sinuses can make the headaches worse (!)

Douglas J. Kibblewhite, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon

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