One of my nostrils appears to be farther down on one side than the other. Is this a deviated septum? (Photo)

One of my nostrils appears to be farther down on one side than the other. I've never had a broken nose, and I never noticed this when I was younger. I do notice that I have difficulty breathing out of the left side of my nose. Is this a deviated septum, and what can be done to correct it?

Doctor Answers 14

Possible Deviated Septum

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Dear Ecno, A deviated septum is diagnosed with an in office examination. Breathing difficulties may be a sign of deviation of the septum however an exam is necessary for proper diagnosis. As far as the nostril asymmetry this may or may not be related to a deviated septum. See a surgeon for examination and diagnosis. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 214 reviews

Deviated Septum? Maybe...

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Thank you for the photo. Unfortunately, without an in-person examination and looking inside the nose, it's impossible to know whether or not you have a deviated septum. If you have difficulty breathing, as you have described, a deviated septum could certainly be the cause. Please contact a board certified plastic surgeon who can thoroughly examine your nose and determine the possible reasons as to why you are experiencing issues with your breathing.

Deviated Septum

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As I tell many of my patients:  "as the septum goes, so does the rest of the nose."  So if the septum is deviated the tip may be off.  An exam is needed to evaluate your nose.  Seek a board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck.

Is this a deviated septum?

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Usually a deviated septum can only be diagnosed by looking inside the nose, though for some the asymmetry in the nostril can be a tip off. If you have a breathing difficulty you should check things out as the septum might be a correctable cause.

Is this a deviated septum?

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Your breathing problem might be due to a deviated septum. The asymmetry in your nostrils is likely not related to the shape or position of your septum, however. You will get great information and very specific advice during a consultation with a rhinoplasty surgeon. I hope this information is helpful for you.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Is this a deviated septum?

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Without an Intra nasal examination the guess is YES a deviated septum. But again only examination allows a definitive response... 

Asymmetry in the Nostrils Does Not Mean You Have a Deviated Septum

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The septum is cartilage and bone seperating the right and left nasal passages.  It should look like a wall seperating 2 rooms, straight up and down.  If it is curved or crooked, it can narrow the nasal airway.  Narrowing in the nasal airway can cause nasal obstructions.  This can happen on one or both sides.

A deviated septum can be diagnosised by:

1)  In office examination
2)  CT scan

The asymmetry in the height of your nostrils may or may not be related to your septum.  Typically, I would look at these areas as 2 seperate areas of concerns.

I hope this helps.   

Is this a deviated septum?

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No one can definitively tell you whether your septum is deviated without an examination. The internal and external nasal areas( the appearance and the functional aspects)  that you described and would like improved can be addressed with a nasal surgery (rhinoplasty) and possibly a septoplasty which are typically done at the same time. A natural appearing nose can be achieved when the procedures are performed by an artistic plastic surgeon with extensive experience in nasal surgery.

Keep in mind that following the advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you what to do based on a limited two dimensional photo without examining you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure would not
be in your best interest. I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) or facial plastic surgeon that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Probable deviated septum

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You do have a crooked nose and the most common cause is deviated septum.  Your shape along with your nasal airway obstruction is also convincing evidence.  

Do I have a Deviated Septum?

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You do have asymmetry of your tip but  with this picture is impossible to tell if the septum is deviated but it's possible and could be the cause of your compromised breathing.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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.