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How to Stop Snoring If You Have a Deviated Septum

One of the most common causes of snoring and sleep apnea is a deviated septum. In other words, a malformation of the bone that "divides" your nostrils.

If your partner frequently complains about your loud or otherwise excessive snoring, and you often have troubles breathing or with nasal congestion, there's a good chance your issues could be related to nasal septum deviation. Luckily, this issue can usually be easily resolved through various natural treatments, medication, or even surgery when all else fails.

The nasal septum is the thin strip of bone and cartilage that separates your right and left nasal cavities. In an ideal world, your septum would be directly in the middle of your nose, causing each cavity to be exactly the same size. However, the bone and cartilage that makes up the septum is quite fragile, and therefore can easily be displaced to one side or the other, i.e. deviated.

When a septum is crooked or off center, it causes the nasal passages to be misaligned, which constricts one or both nasal passages and makes breathing more difficult. This condition is actually incredibly common and it has been estimated that up to 80 percent of the population has at least some degree of septum deviation. 

However, in most cases the individual is completely unaware of the issue, as it never causes any breathing difficulties. Still, in more severe cases, the deviated septum can cause a myriad of other problems, which can usually only be resolved by treating the deviation.

There are a number of different things that can lead to a misaligned septum, although by far the most common cause is trauma to the nose, such as getting hit or otherwise injuring or breaking your nose. Nonetheless, it can also be caused by other genetic disorders, or by a congenital defect that develops when the nose is compressed either in the womb or during childbirth.

Symptoms and Problems Associated with Septum Deviation

deviated septumSnoring and breathing difficulties are typically the most common complaints heard by those suffering from more severe deviations. In many cases, the congestion or breathing problems are much worse in one nostril, as the crooked septum is being pushed into that nasal cavity and restricting it from expanding fully while breathing in.

In some cases, the person only experiences these issues when lying down, although this can still be equally as damaging as it also often leads to obstructive sleep apnea. 

This can seriously degrade a person's quality of sleep, causing sleep deprivation and possibly a whole host of other, potentially more serious health consequences.

In addition, in more cases, some people also experience frequent, sometimes severe nosebleeds, headaches and migraines, facial pain, frequent sneezing and sinus infections. Furthermore, it can even interfere with your ability to smell properly, and some people completely lose their sense of smell due to their deviated septum.

Diagnosing and Treating Deviations in the Nasal Septum

If you often experience any of the symptoms listed above, the first thing your doctor will usually do is take an x-ray of your nose. An x-ray should easily show the exact placement of your septum, and allow the doctor to determine how severe the deviation is. This is important because the placement and degree of deviation will determine what the best course of treatment will be.


In less severe cases, it is usually possible to treat the symptoms and issues being caused by the deviated septum, without the need to surgically repair the septum itself. 

This usually involves taking medication or using other natural methods to reduce swelling and inflammation of the nasal cavities, or possibly using a device such as a nasal dilator to keep the nasal passages open during sleep. These options are always recommended first, and surgery is usually only performed when all other treatment methods have failed to improve the condition.

Natural and Non-Invasive Treatment Options

deviated septumIf you simply have trouble breathing due to restricted sinuses, your first option should be to use a nasal spray or other similar product designed to clear up blocked nasal passages, which usually provides at least some relief for mild deviations.

One of the most popular of these products is Nutribiotic Nasal Spray, which contains grapefruit seed extract that has been used for centuries to treat mild sinus congestion. This spray is completely safe and all natural, and can be used up to three times per day as needed to help improve breathing, and has helped many people to overcome some of the problems associated with their deviated septum.

If you frequently snore or experience mild sleep apnea during the night, you might want to try a nose strip or nasal dilator to help keep your nasal passages open while sleeping. While nose strips for snoring are definitely more comfortable, the nasal dilators are usually much more effective and most people get used to sleeping with this device within a week or so.

snorepinThe best nasal dilator currently on the market is the Snorepin, which is made from polyurethane, making it much more comfortable to wear than the other plastic dilators. 

This device is inserted directly into each nostril and clips on the end of the nose, allowing it to remain in place and keep the nostrils open through the night, which should again take care of all but the most serious sleeping problems resulting from septum deviation.

Septum Surgery for When All Else Fails

In severe cases, your doctor may determine that surgery is necessary to repair or realign your septum. This surgery, known as septoplasty, can be done in a few hours in an outpatient clinic, and is generally considered to be quite safe. Still, like all surgeries, there is always a risk of complications, so it is normally only done as a last resort.

When the deviation is a result of a crooked nose due to it being broken in the past, the septoplasty is often done in conjunction with a rhinoplasty, or "nose job", to repair the look of the nose as well. 

In general, most septoplasty surgeries are quite successful and should allow the person to breathe much better than before, although it may still not completely fix all issues. If you're considering this procedure, you'll need to discuss it with your doctor, as only they will be able to determine whether or not you are a good candidate.

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