Post-nasal drip, an excessive accumulation of mucous in back of the nose and throat, is an annoyance that many people put up with their entire lives without knowing the cause or how to fix it. Often this is because there are so many causes of post-nasal drip that the severity can range from mild to complete blockage. Post-nasal drip can be caused by upper respiratory viruses, dry air, pregnancy and hormone changes, certain foods and medications, or structural causes like a deviated septum.
The septum is the barrier of cartilage that divides your nostrils. When someone sustains an impact trauma the septum will sometimes shift to one side causing a blockage in one, or occasionally both, nostrils. A deviated septum can also be caused by congenital disorders such as nose compression during childbirth, or connective tissue disorders, which are genetic. Whatever the cause of the deviated septum, the effect is usually an inability to breath properly through the nose and poor nasal drainage causing post-nasal drip. The first step is usually to try nasal steroids to reduce inflammation and decongest the nose, but if that doesn’t work most people turn to deviated septum surgery.
Luckily for those of you that suffer from a deviated septum out there, it can usually be fixed with a minimally invasive procedure, done through the nostrils, that requires very little downtime; this procedure is called a septoplasty. When people come to us for deviated septum surgery, however, it’s usually because they would like us to tweak more than just their nasal septum. Many of our patients, like many people, have looked at their nose in the mirror, in pictures, in profile, and just have a few changes they would like to make. Since we specialise in rhinoplasty it is quite common for our patients to combine a septoplasty and rhinoplasty so that they only have to schedule one surgery instead of two, and they can combine recovery times. This is also convenient if you would like to keep your rhinoplasty on the “D.L.” and want to blame your absence from work on your deviated septum. Hey…you’re not lying.