Can A Deviated Septum Cause Snoring? Yes, But These 11 Easy Tips Can Help

woman holding her nose because of sinus pain

Tiredness, alcohol intake, nasal congestion, and obesity are some of the most common causes of snoring. However, snoring can also be influenced by the structure of your nose—for example, due to a deviated septum.

It’s believed around 80% of Americans have a deviated septum (most don’t know they have it), so it is far more common than you would imagine.

Unfortunately, a deviated septum can cause a lot of breathing issues, especially during sleep.

In this article, we will explore how and why a deviated septum may be responsible for your snoring, as well as give you tips on how to treat or manage it.

woman in gray shirt lying on bed

But First: What Is A Deviated Septum?

To start with, let us define the nasal septum. The nasal septum is that wall of muscle in your nose that separates your nostrils from each other.

A deviated septum is a physical disorder in the nose where the nasal septum deviates to one side. This makes one side of the nasal passage smaller than usual, thus making breathing uneven and difficult.

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Symptoms of a Deviated Septum

Most people with a mildly deviated septum don’t even know their septum has deviated because there are usually no symptoms.

However, if you’re experiencing the following symptoms, chances are that you might have a deviated septum.

1. Obstruction In One Or Both Nostrils

When the septum has deviated to one side of the nostril, it can cause an obstruction. This will be particularly noticeable when you have a cold or allergic reaction.

2. Face Pain

If you’re experiencing pain in one side of your face, it can be because your septum is a deviated septum, causing different parts of your nose to touch and apply pressure on your face.

3. Snoring Or Making Loud Noise During Sleep

A deviated septum can cause the tissues in your nose to swell, causing wheezing or the emission of loud noise during sleep.

4. Other Symptoms Include:

  • Regular infection of the sinus
  • Loss of smelling ability
  • Preferring to breathe with the mouth
  • Sneezing repeatedly
  • Sleep apnea
  • Nosebleeds
  • Headache
  • Difficulty in breathing

Symptoms of deviated septum usually worsen with age.

It may be hard to self-diagnose a deviated septum as most of the symptoms related to it are generic to many medical conditions.

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How a Deviated Septum is Diagnosed

To get an accurate diagnosis on whether or not you have a deviated septum, you can visit an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist or even a plastic surgeon. You will be asked questions about your symptoms, and a physical examination will be conducted.

The physical examination entails a close examination of the interior of your nose by pointing a bright light into your nostrils. The external parts of your nose may also be examined.

Causes Of A Deviated Septum

Most people with a deviated septum were born with it. Others just naturally develop it as they grow older. However, some are caused by other factors like :

  • Injuries to the nose
  • High-intensity sport
  • Falls
  • Car accidents

Anything or activity that can potentially change the structure of the nose can cause a deviated septum.

Can A Deviated Septum Cause Snoring?

Yes. If you have a deviated septum, your nasal passages may become blocked, leading to noisy breathing. That can, in turn, lead to snoring.

woman in gray tank top lying on bed

How to Reduce Snoring Caused by a Deviated Septum: 11 Tips That Will Help

Snoring can be a disturbing and embarrassing condition for the parties involved. Although there are lots of remedies for snoring, there aren’t many tailored to particularly treat snoring caused by a deviated septum.

However, we have taken it upon ourselves to carry out extensive research and collate tips on reducing snoring caused by a deviated septum. Those tips are listed below.

1. Get a Septoplasty

A septoplasty is a medical procedure used to straighten a deviated septum.

The surgery is a minor one and should take about 1 or 2 hours, after which you can be allowed to go home.

To prepare for the surgery, your surgeon may recommend that you stay off NSAIDs like aspirin or ibuprofen at least 2 weeks before the surgery as they can increase bleeding. It would help if you also stayed away from alcohol and smoking.

The Procedure For The Surgery

You will most likely be under general anesthesia that can numb your whole body and make you sleep, or be placed under a local one that’ll just numb your nose.

The aim of the surgery is to correct the deviation, so the surgeon will attempt to straighten the septum. Some parts of the septum may be removed and re-inserted to do this.

After the septum has been straightened, small plastic tubes or sutures may be placed to support it. A skin graft can also be used.

After the surgery, your nose will likely be bandaged to keep it in shape and prevent infection.

Post-surgery

Septoplasty is a safe surgery, and you should be able to go home the same day. After your surgery, you will be given medication to reduce pain and the risk of infection.

Breathing might be difficult or uncomfortable during this period. However, within three months your nose should be fully healed. You must be particularly attentive to your nose during this period and avoid bumping or touching it.

There might be some complications after the surgery, such as

  • Changes in the shape of the nose
  • Excess bleeding
  • Numbness in gums and teeth

After your deviated septum has been corrected, you should be able to breathe easier and reduce snoring. However, keep in mind that surgery might not necessarily correct all the symptoms of a deviated septum.

Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor – this article is not a medical treatment replacement.

2. Use Decongestants

Decongestants can help you clear symptoms of a deviated septum that may be causing you to have breathing problems.

For example, nasal congestion and obstruction are one of the primary symptoms of nasal deviation. A decongestant will help relieve the congestion, allowing you to breathe more freely.

Examples of decongestants are phenylephrine, oxymetazoline, and naphazoline.

3. Use Nasal Strips

Nasal strips are usually applied on the nose bridge. They open up the nose and nostrils, allowing air to flow more freely, thereby reducing snoring.

They also help to reduce nasal congestion from colds or allergies.

4. Use Allergy Drugs

Allergic reactions usually affect the respiratory system and its structures. In addition, an allergic reaction can worsen the effects and symptoms of a septum deviation.

Keeping allergy medicine in handy and using them whenever you have allergic reactions may help mitigate the symptoms and enable you to breathe easier.

5. Use Salt Water

Saltwater is an excellent home remedy for treating symptoms of a deviated nasal septum. You can use warm salt water to rinse the inside of your nose to get rid of excess mucus and congestion.

6. Nasal Steroids Spray May Help

Nasal steroids are available as OTC (over the counter) drugs and are also great at reducing nasal congestion and obstruction.

They need to be used over an extended period before results can be seen. However, they do appear to work. It’s always best to consult your doctor before starting something new.

7. Use A Humidifier In Your Room

Inhaling dry air can worsen your symptoms and make it harder to breathe. Humidifiers or vaporizers help to release hot steam and add moisture to the air. Having one in your room will help relieve sinusitis, running nose, or bleeding nose.

8. Use Breathing Retraining Therapy

This is an old method used to manage breathing for anxiety and other breathing-related issues.

It is recommended that this activity be practiced daily for about 10 minutes each time.

Here’s how to go about it.

  • Find a comfortable position to stay in
  • Close your eyes and keep your body relaxed
  • Breathe in through your nose and hold the breath for about 3 seconds
  • Breathe out through your mouth slowly
  • Repeat until 10 minutes is up.

9. Avoid Irritants

Stay away from anything or substances that can irritate your nose and make breathing harder. If you’re allergic to certain substances, make a conscious effort to avoid them.

10. Take A Hot Shower Every Night

Taking hot showers will elevate your body’s temperature and keep you and your nostrils warm, reducing labored breathing and snoring.

11. Sleep In The Best Position

Usually, people with a deviated septum have a preferred way of sleeping that makes breathing easier for them.

Carry out some experiments and figure out such ways by yourself, then try to sleep in that position.

Generally, sleeping on the side is the best position if you have a deviated septum.

You can add a pillow to support your body in this position and keep pressure off your back or spine.

How to Keep Yourself from Getting a Deviated Septum

  • Pay attention to your nose and avoid bumping or breaking it
  • Always use a helmet during sports
  • Avoid high contact or high-danger sports.

Deviated Septum and Snoring: OUR FINAL THOUGHTS

Snoring can be more than a mere inconvenience. It can affect the quality of your sleep, thereby inadvertently affecting other areas of your life.

Having a deviated septum increases your chances of having trouble breathing during sleep. Fortunately, there are several solutions to this link between a deviated septum and snoring, and they’ve been extensively explored in this article.