Deviated Septum Sleep Apnea: Is your deviated septum causing your sleep apnea?

April 28, 2017 |  by  |  Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where the breathing is affected during sleep. For people who suffer with this medical condition going to sleep is often a nightmare. They usually find themselves waking up numerous times during the night and the quality of sleep suffers a great deal. Sleep apnea is a chronic medical condition and there are various causes of this medical condition. One of the most well-known and common causes of sleep apnea is that of a deviated septum.

What is a deviated Septum?

deviated-septum-sleep-apneaThe septum is a thin line of both bone and cartilage that is located in the center of your nose. A septum should be located right at the center of your nose and it is what divides your nose into 2 equal halves. A deviated septum, which can be caused by a birth defect, is when the septum is not equally and may tilt from side to side. This creates nostrils that have unequal dimensions. A deviated septum means that since the two nostrils are not equal there is a high chance for air to be blocked and/or restricted. One form of this is known as deviated septum sleep apnea. Any blockage within the nasal cavity can cause disruption to normal breathing. This normal breathing disruptions can lead to deviated septum sleep apnea.

An interesting fact about deviated septum is that as we age there is a chance for our septums to become deviated. As we lose muscle tone with the aging process there is chance that some of the muscle tone we lose is in our nose or even upper airway or throat. So it is possible that as we age our septum could become crooked. Which makes sense since more than 75 percent of people with sleep apnea are over the age of 65.

Treatment for deviated septum sleep apnea

Treatment will be based on the underlying cause. Since a deviated septum can occur for a number of different reasons, your medical care provider will determine the best course of action for your deviated septum sleep apnea. Surgery is an option to fix and repair a deviated septum but this will be based on the reasons for the deviation to begin with. In fact many people who have a deviated septum do not need to have surgery. Surgery is generally only needed if the septum is causing serious complication that can lead to other potential medical issues.

Non-surgical treatment for deviated septum sleep apnea is often in the form of a CPAP machine. These machines will provide constant positive airflow during the night. This helps to keep the airways open and lessens the chance that the breathing will stop during the night. There are a few different types of CPAP machines and your doctor can help you choose the one that is best for you. Deviated septum sleep apnea if left untreated can create a host of medical problems that all have some very serious and potentially fatal consequences.


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