Is a Deviated Septum Visible?

A common reason for rhinoplasty, a deviated septum is a medical condition inside of the nose. The septum is the wall of cartilage that separates the two nostrils from one another. If the membrane leans to one side or the other or is bent over completely, the resulting condition is called a deviated septum.

Degrees of Deviated Septum
There are various degrees of a deviated septum. The least problematic problem is the septum that is only slightly off center. The ideal situation is when the septum, or wall, is perfectly straight allowing air and mucus to move through the nose correctly. As the septum shifts further away from this ideal, the greater the degree of the problem. A very off center septum can cause numerous health concerns including persistent sinus infections and difficulty breathing.

The Visible Deviated Septum

Most degrees of a deviated septum are not at all visible to the casual observer. Of course a doctor can see the difference when they look up into the nose through the nostrils. A deviated septum of a middle or severe degree may be visible to others if they choose to look straight up the nose with a light. But the only type of visible problem with a deviated septum is if the nose itself is actually broken previously or otherwise misshapen.

A nose that is bent or humped from a previous injury or birth defect will be obvious to others. It is for this reason that so many patients considering septoplasty to straighten out the membrane between the two nostrils also consider rhinoplasty to reshape the nose as well during the process – in essence fixing the nose both inside and out.