Pediatric Deviated Septum

Pediatric Deviated Septum

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Summary

A deviated septum happens when the cartilage that separates the nasal passages is positioned to one side or the other of the midline of the nose.

Expanded overview

The septum is the thin piece of cartilage that separates the two passages in the nasal cavity. If your child has a deviated septum, it means that this cartilage is positioned to one side or the other, as opposed to in the middle. This off-center positioning means that the inside of one nostril is much smaller than the other.

Many children are born with a septum that is slightly off-center, however, when the deviation is more pronounced, it can cause breathing problems and chronic nasal discharge.

Causes

In most children, a deviated septum is a congenital anomaly - meaning they are born with it. In some children, a deviated septum may be caused by an injury or a previous surgery for another condition.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of a deviated septum include:

  • Chronic nasal discharge
  • Chronic nosebleeds 
  • Chronic stuffy nose, especially on one side
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Frequent sinus infections
  • Noisy breathing during sleep

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