ZocdocAnswersIf I have a deviated septum do I have to have it corrected?

Question

If I have a deviated septum do I have to have it corrected?

My doctor said my snoring is due to a deviated septum. Does that mean I have to get it fixed or is it okay to live with a deviated septum?

Answer

To understand snoring, you first have to understand something about the anatomy of your airway. Your airway from your voice box to your lungs is fairly rigid and does not easily collapse. The airway from the voice box (larynx) to the mouth is muscular, and not rigid, and therefore is less rigid. When you fall asleep, your lose muscle tone, and your upper airway becomes even more "floppy". The snoring sound is made from the soft tissue of the upper airway flapping as air goes by. If this becomes bad enough, it can lead to complete obstruction and something called obstructive sleep apnea. This is a serious problem, and as such I would recommend making an appointment to be evaluated by an ENT (Ears Nose Throat) physician to be evaluated. They may order a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea. The ENT will also be able to take a look at your septum. If deviated enough, the septum can obstruct the nasal airway making the force of inspiration more, and cause snoring to be worse. However, it is uncommon that with bad snoring, a septoplasty alone (straightening of the septum surgically) fixes the snoring. This is something that your ENT will be able to discuss more with you. I wish you all the best.

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