Do I have a deviated septum? If yes, how severe is it and is there a way to fix it without surgery? (photos)

i'm 17/f, Asian. sometimes i can only breathe with one nostril and i have to open my mouth in order to sleep. sorry about the acne scars

Doctor Answers 4

Deviated nasal septum

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based on your photograph it is not possible to tell what the status of your nasal septum is.  Your symptoms of nasal obstruction could be related to a deviated septum, but this can only be decided upon by looking inside the nose or with imaging.  If the septum is deviated, non surgical options would involve medications to decrease nasal congestion and inflammation.  If medications do not work, then surgical correction of the septum and possibly other structures that affect the nasal airway would be needed.  Begin by visiting with a surgeon who is experienced with rhinoplasty, septoplasty and the functional nasal airway. 

New Orleans Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Non-surgical rhinoplasty will not be helpful. You need nasal septoplasty and perhaps rhinoplasty.

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Dear Pielover9686:

From what I see here, without any other views, based on your history of not being able to breathe, it seems to be that you do, indeed, have a deviated septum inside your nose, just leaning to the side where you cannot breath.

There is no non-surgical option to correct that problem. If you are having trouble sleeping, that is misery and you really ought to have it corrected. There is no reason to suffer. If you are happy with the outside of your nose, the inside can be done separately. You can have rhinoplasty during the same surgical session if you wish to improve the appearance of your nose.

The most common procedure to restore healthy breathing is a nasal septoplasty and turbinate resection to further improve the airway. It is all done internally with no external incisions. All stitches dissolve. It is a great operation done hundreds of thousands of times a year in the United States. It is one of the 10 most common operations performed in many surgical centers.

You need a consultation with a nasal surgeon who is very experienced in correcting internal nasal blockage. A full exam will include looking into the back of the nose, making sure there are no other issues.Some people are actually born with a narrow nasal passage, and that needs to be ruled out as a cause.

The most important mission is to have a complete and thorough consultation and have the procedure explained to you. Recovery is prompt with little discomfort.

Best wishes,

Robert Kotler, MD, FACS

Robert Kotler, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Septal deviation and other sources of airway obstruction

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An intranasal exam (inside your nose) would be necessary to determine the severity of your septal deviation.  The only effective, permanent way to straighten a deviated septum is with a surgery: septoplasty.  

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Deviated Septum May Cause Mouth Breathing

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Although a Deviated Septum May Cause Mouth Breathing there are also other causes such as swelling of your soft tissues on the side of your nasal breathing passages (inferior turbinates), enlarged tonsils and adenoids, etc. An exam of the inside of your nose is required to understand the cause. If it is a deviated septum then surgery is required to fix it. 

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.