The nasal septum is the wall that separates the left and right nostrils. A centered septum allows air to flow equally through each nostril. In a deviated nasal septum, the wall is not centered.

A deviated septum may cause no symptoms at all. In severe cases, airflow through one or both nostrils may be blocked. A blocked nostril may cause chronic stuffiness and a tendency to get sinus infections.

Deviated Septum
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Causes include:

  • Present at birth—arose during fetal development (5% of cases)
  • Birth injury to the nose
  • A blow to the nose, often during an accident or while playing sports