A deviated septum occurs when the septum, or wall separating the nostrils, is displaced to one side. This makes one nasal passage smaller than the other and can be present from birth or caused by a certain type of trauma. A displaced nasal passage does not generally create overwhelming breathing problems for younger children; however, being aware of your child’s deviated septum can help you stay aware of this condition in case treatment should be needed in the future.
Furthermore, a deviated septum is not always noticeable. Some signs of a deviated septum may include:
- Noisy breathing when asleep
- Sleeping on a particular side
- Chronic nosebleeds
- Facial pain
A misplaced nasal wall is not necessarily a cause for alarm, but it can cause difficulty breathing through the nostrils and a higher amount of discomfort when your child has a cold or an allergy flare-up. If this is something that concerns you, you can seek treatment from an ENT specialist at Birmingham’s Pediatric ENT Associates.
Managing a Deviated Septum
There are a few treatments that can be utilized to manage a deviated septum. You can give your child nasal decongestants, but they should not be given generously because a dependency can occur. Nasal sprays can be used, but if they are used too often and then discontinued, symptoms can sometimes return stronger than before. Antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays are alternative options, as well. Before starting any of these treatments, consult with your Pediatric ENT Associates doctor in Birmingham to choose the best course of action.
While surgery may seem daunting, the above treatment options will only manage and control the symptoms. The only way to truly correct a deviated septum is through surgery. A surgical procedure, known as a septoplasty, would correct the placement of the wall, allow air to flow easily through the nose, and usually cause the symptoms to cease. However, it depends on the severity of the displacement.
Generally speaking, a septoplasty causes all of the symptoms to dissipate. If your child has chronic allergies or issues within the lining of the nose, those will not be cured with surgery.
A septoplasty is not generally recommended for young children and usually only performed in cases where the nasal obstruction is severe. To learn more about septoplasty, visit MedLinePlus.gov
What Causes a Deviated Septum?
Up to 80% of the population can have a sideways displacement. A deviated septum can occur during fetal development and be discovered when the baby is born. Your child may have also developed the condition from an injury to the nose. Injuries to the nasal septum typically occur while playing sports, bumping into a wall, or getting into a car accident. A crooked and off-center nasal cartilage can also be caused by a previous surgery for another condition.
When To Take Your Child to See An ENT Specialist
Your family doctor or pediatrician may be able to help manage the symptoms of your child’s nasal obstruction, but an otolaryngologist, otherwise known as ENT (ear, nose, throat) specialist, is specially trained and qualified to evaluate and treat these conditions affecting children and is the best choice if you believe your child has a deviated septum. Also, if your child has not responded to treatment by your primary care physician and has persistent trouble with nasal breathing and sleep problems, consult with a pediatric otolaryngologist.
While general ENT specialists for adults can diagnose, treat, and perform surgery on children, pediatric ENT specialists are uniquely trained and equipped to handle an array of issues that arise when treating babies, children, and teens. Here at the Pediatric ENT Associates in Birmingham, we not only want parents to find the best quality care for their children, but we also want you and your child to feel comfortable and to be treated with age-appropriate gentleness and consideration.
Schedule a Deviated Septum Consultation in Birmingham, AL Today:
If you are concerned that your child is suffering from a deviated septum, don’t hesitate to contact Birmingham’s Pediatric ENT Associates for a diagnosis and treatment plan. To learn more or to make your appointment, call 205-289-7469 today!
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