If Prescribed Nasal Spray Doesn't Work, Am I Eligible for Septoplasty? (I Have a Deviated Septum)

I feel that the nasal spray I use now has made no change and I still feel I have trouble breathing and having a runny nose randomly and have headaches. I don't want to deal with medication my whole life so Is it better getting surgery done?

Doctor Answers 3

Septoplasty to improve your breathing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A thorough intranasal exam by an ENT can help determine if septoplasty will help your nasal airflow.  

1. with regards to your breathing, considerations that will be better elucidated with examination will be structure of your septum, size and architecture of your inferior turbinates (you may benefit from a turbinate reduction at the time of septoplasty.

2. with regards to your runny nose, you should be evaluated to see if allergies have a role in your breathing and rhinorrhea.  Surgery will not alleviate allergic symptoms, but it can help create a larger, more open nasal airway that can better tolerate the small amount of intranasal swelling that comes with allergies.

3. with regards to your headaches, nasal obstruction (from some combination of deviated septum and/or inferior turbinate hypertrophy, plus or minus allergies) may be contributing to your headache, but it is important to rule out sinusitis as a cause of your headaches prior to surgery.  Your ENT may want to do a CT scan of the sinuses prior to scheduling surgery.  If you should need sinus surgery, everything could be done at once.

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Septoplasty for failed medical therapy

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

 It is important to try medical therapy first before undergoing surgery improved airflow dynamics through the nose. A septoplasty will not help with a runny nose, that is usually due to allergies. Headaches can be coming from many different sources including chronic sinus disease  and a CAT scan of the paranasal sinuses will make the diagnosis.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Septoplasty can help with breathing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If medicated nasal steroid sprays are not helping, you may be a candidate for septoplasty. Please see your nasal specialist and have them examine your septum for deviations that may be causing the problem. You also may have large turbinates that are obstructing the airflow. 

If you can benefit from surgery, you may not need steroid sprays after surgery. 

Runny nose and headache may be a sign of rhinitis or sinusitis that your nasal specialist should evaluate. 


Dr. Zoumalan

Richard A. Zoumalan, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

You might also like...

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.