A deviated septum is repaired with surgery during which parts of the septum are cut, removed and repositioned to the center of the nose, explains Mayo Clinic. Symptoms are managed with medications that include decongestants, antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays.
Decongestants decrease nasal-tissue swelling and help keep both sides of the nose open, according to Mayo Clinic. These drugs can cause worsening of symptoms due to dependency, rebound congestion, jitteriness and high blood pressure. Antihistamines reduce allergy symptoms, including obstruction and runny nose. Nasal steroid sprays reduce nasal inflammation and help with obstruction and drainage.
A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall that separates the nostrils is displaced to one side, explains Mayo Clinic. Sometimes the deviation causes one nostril to become larger than the other. The deviation can occur before birth during fetal development or as a result of injury. Symptoms include obstruction of one or both nostrils, nosebleeds, facial pain, noisy breathing during sleep and a preference for sleeping on a particular side. Septum deviation can also cause dry mouth from chronic mouth breathing and a feeling of pressure or congestion in the nasal passages.
A deviated septum is diagnosed with a physical exam during which the doctor uses a speculum that spreads open the nostrils, describes Mayo Clinic. The doctor examines the nasal passages with a long, tube-shaped scope and a bright light.