Deviated Septum Specialist

Richard Ruiz, MD

Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgeon located in Temecula, CA

It’s normal to have a septum that’s not precisely in the middle of your nose — about 80% of adults have a nasal septum that’s off-center — but it’s not considered a deviated septum unless it’s severely displaced. When your deviated septum causes problems like nasal congestion and nosebleeds, Richard Ruiz M.D., Inc. can realign your septum with minimally invasive surgery. To schedule an evaluation, use the online booking tool or call the office in Temecula, California.

Deviated Septum Q & A

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What is a deviated septum?

Your septum is the wall of thin cartilage that separates your nostrils or nasal passages. A deviated septum occurs when the wall is displaced to one side, making one of the passages narrower than the other.

If your deviated septum is severely displaced, it can totally block the passage. As a result, airflow is limited, making it hard to breathe. The septum may also dry out, which increases the chance of bleeding.

What symptoms can develop from a deviated septum?

A septum that’s mildly deviated may not cause symptoms. It can make the symptoms of a cold or upper respiratory infection worse, but since the congestion goes away when your cold does, you typically won’t associate the symptoms with a deviated septum.

When a deviated septum is severe enough to produce symptoms, you’ll experience:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Blocked nostril (one or both)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Sinus infections
  • Noisy breathing during sleep (in infants and children)

Some patients may have headaches, postnasal drip, or one-sided facial pain where the deviated septum affects the nasal wall. A deviated septum also increases your risk of developing chronic sinusitis, or inflammation and infection in the nearby sinuses.

When you have frequent infections or nosebleeds or have difficulty breathing, it’s time to consult Dr. Ruiz for treatment.

How is a deviated septum treated?

When your symptoms are mild, decongestants or antihistamines may be enough to make you feel better. However, the only treatment for a deviated septum is corrective surgery.

Dr. Ruiz performs minimally invasive septoplasty, a surgery to straighten and reposition the septum. The procedure is done on-site and uses a specialized device that Dr. Ruiz inserts through your nostrils without an incision.

Septoplasty is an outpatient procedure, so you can go home the same day. Some doctors pack gauze into the sinuses to stop bleeding and discharge, which can be uncomfortable and often painful when it’s removed. Instead, Dr. Ruiz uses minimally invasive septoplasty techniques, such as Balloon Sinuplasty, that avoid the need for packing while minimizing bleeding.

If you suffer from ongoing nasal congestion or nosebleeds, call Richard Ruiz M.D., Inc. or book an appointment online.