The septum is the bone and cartilage which separates the two sides of the nose. A deviated septum is simply a crooked septum. A deviated septum commonly can cause or exacerbate chronic sinusitis by causing a blockage of the nose and also of the drainage area from the sinuses. Most people have a somewhat deviated septum. Just because your septum is deviated, it doesn't mean that it is causing a problem-but it does need to be evaluated. There are some patients who have such a severe deviated septum that they need to have surgery. That may need to be evaluated by an otolaryngologist or sinusitis specialist.

When surgery is done for sinusitis, the deviated septum is often straightened at the same time as the surgery is done on the sinuses.

There is a device called the Breathe Right nasal strip which you may have seen athletes wear. It looks like a band-aid that goes across the nose but actually opens up the nose with a spring-like mechanism which is contained in the Breathe Right strip. Many patients with a deviated septum find that their nose will open up if they use it. Unless you're a football player, you will probably decide not to use it during the daytime, but since many patients have worsening of symptoms at night, it can be helpful when used then.

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