Deviated Septum Sleep Apnea: What Is It, and How Is It Treated?
Deviated septum sleep apnea can occur if the nasal septum is damaged. In this instance, a crooked septum can hinder the ability to breathe through the nose. If the issue goes unaddressed, it may contribute to sleep apnea and make it virtually impossible to breathe through the nose and get a good night’s sleep.
At the CENTER for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, Dr. Babak Azizzadeh offers expert treatment of a deviated septum and other nose issues. Dr. Azizzadeh is a Harvard-trained and dual board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon and head and neck surgeon, and he understands what it takes to correct nose defects that can otherwise make it tough to breathe through the nose.
When it comes to deviated septum sleep apnea, Dr. Azizzadeh strives to educate his patients about this condition. That way, patients can understand the dangers associated with this problem, as well as explore safe, effective ways to treat the issue.
What Is a Deviated Septum?
A deviated septum is a medical condition in which the nasal septum, the bone and cartilage that divide the nasal cavity into two sections, becomes off-centered. When this happens, people may experience difficulty breathing, along with any of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the face
- Bloody nose
- Nasal congestion
A deviated septum is a common problem, and some estimates indicate approximately 80% of people have a misaligned septum. Medication may be used to treat a deviated septum. Or, if medication does not provide sufficient relief, nose surgery may be required.
Dr. Azizzadeh performs a wide range of nose procedures, including several types of rhinoplasties. For patients who are dealing with a deviated septum and require surgery, Dr. Azizzadeh may recommend a septoplasty.
With septoplasty surgery, Dr. Azizzadeh straightens the septum and ensures it is positioned in the middle of a patient’s nose. Dr. Azizzadeh may cut or remove parts of the septum to achieve the intended results of treatment. Upon successful completion of a septoplasty, a patient’s septum will be in the optimal position. Plus, the patient should have no trouble breathing through both sides of the nose after surgery.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes people to repeatedly start and stop breathing. It can occur if the throat muscles become too relaxed while sleeping (obstructive sleep apnea), the brain fails to deliver the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing (central sleep apnea), or both (complex sleep apnea).
People who experience sleep apnea may be prone to loud snoring, and they may wake up feeling tired, even if they get a full night’s rest. Additionally, sleep apnea can cause one or more of the following symptoms:
- Daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
- Difficulty concentrating while awake
There are several risk factors associated with sleep apnea as well. These include:
- Weight: People who are overweight or obese may have excess fat deposits on the upper airway that can restrict their breathing and contribute to sleep apnea symptoms.
- Genetics: People with blood relatives who experienced sleep apnea may be more susceptible to this sleep disorder than others.
- Age: Research indicates that older adults may be more prone to sleep apnea than others.
Sleep apnea symptoms can be severe, and they can contribute to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and other long-term medical issues. Thus, people who snore loudly or experience other sleep apnea symptoms should consult with a doctor immediately. In doing so, they can find out if they are dealing with sleep apnea related to a deviated septum.
Can a Deviated Septum Contribute to Sleep Apnea Symptoms?
A deviated septum won’t cause sleep apnea, but it can make sleep apnea symptoms worse. To understand why this is the case, it is important to understand the relationship between both.
For people dealing with a deviated septum, they may have an obstruction that blocks their nasal airway. Meanwhile, if these people previously dealt with sleep apnea symptoms, the obstruction may make it more difficult than ever before to breathe through the nose. The result: sleep apnea symptoms can quickly escalate.
People who believe they may be dealing with a deviated septum, sleep apnea, or both should consult with a doctor. At this time, they can undergo an evaluation to determine the best way to treat their symptoms.
Can a Deviated Septum and Sleep Apnea Be Treated at the Same Time?
There may be times when a septoplasty is used to simultaneously treat a deviated septum and sleep apnea. During this sleep apnea surgery, the cartilage on the interior portion of a patient’s nose is straightened. Then, the size of the patient’s turbinates (curved bones on the nasal passage) is reduced, which increases the size of the nasal airway. Also, if the patient has suffered a nasal valve collapse, the nasal valves can be repaired accordingly.
Other sleep apnea surgery options are also available, and they may help patients treat a deviated septum and sleep apnea at the same time. For example, minimally invasive procedures may be performed under local anesthesia to treat issues associated with the nose, palate, or base of the tongue. In other instances, a doctor may recommend an adenoidectomy, tonsillectomy, or another surgery option.
The right treatment to address a deviated septum and sleep apnea depends on the patient, the severity of their symptoms, and other factors. Fortunately, Dr. Azizzadeh can assess a patient to find out if a deviated septum is causing their symptoms to worsen. He can then provide a patient with a personalized treatment plan to mitigate the symptoms of their deviated septum and sleep apnea.
Schedule a Treatment Consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh
At the first sign of a deviated septum, a patient should meet with Dr. Azizzadeh. This ensures that Dr. Azizzadeh can evaluate a patient and determine if surgery can be used to correct their deviated septum. It may also allow a patient to treat their deviated septum before it leads to severe sleep apnea symptoms.
Dr. Azizzadeh is available to discuss septoplasty surgery and other procedures used to correct nose defects. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh, please contact us online or call us today at 310-657-2203.