Ear, Nose, Throat, & Allergy

What is a deviated septum?

Posted on March 28th, 2016
The nasal septum is a structure partially composed of bone and cartilage which divides the right and left nasal passages. When the septum is shifted or “deviated,” it can lead to a variety of symptoms including nasal blockage, congestion, bloody noses (epistaxis), snoring and also be a trigger for sinus problems. Deviated nasal septum’s can occur for many reasons, the most common being related to trauma. Many times people are born with a deviated septum and may not notice the symptoms until later in life. A deviated nasal septum may be seen in conjunction with deformities of the nasal bones (nasal fracture), but many times a deviated septum is not visible to the naked eye. A deviated septum may be detected on imaging such as an Xray or CAT scan, but it may be best evaluated by a simple painless in office examination called a nasal endoscopy ,usually done by an Ear Nose Throat Specialist. Although there is no specific medical treatment for a nasal septum deviation, many specialists will use various medications to treat co-existing conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as environmental allergies and chronic sinusitis (inflammation). If symptoms are significant enough, a routine surgical procedure may be considered , which is known as a septoplasty. When performing a septoplasty,  the crooked cartilage and bony is straightened to improve nasal breathing and reduce other symptoms.  This outpatient surgical procedure has a high success rate with minimal recovery and discomfort.  A septoplasty may be performed in conjunction with other surgical procedures, such as sinus surgery, balloon sinus dilation, nasal fracture repair and also rhinoplasty (cosmetic refinement of the external nasal structures).
Opinions expressed here are those of myself, Dr. Daryl Colden. They are not intended as medical advice and cannot substitute for the advice of your personal physician.
 

Your Tonsils and You!

Posted on March 16th, 2016
Tonsils are paired glands that are located in the back of the throat. Your tonsils are filled with nooks and crannies where bacteria, viruses, and other materials, dead cells, food particles and mucus, can become trapped. When this happens, the debris can become concentrated in white formations that occur in the pockets, known as tonsil stones (Tonsilloliths). Tonsilloliths are formed when this trapped debris hardens, or calcifies. This tends to happen most often in people who have chronic swelling (inflammation) in their tonsils or repeated bouts of tonsil infections (tonsillitis). Usually tonsil stones form in adults and at times teenagers. Often tonsilloliths do not cause any symptoms are simply a visible white, grey or discolored lump adjacent to the tonsil. Other times, one will develop irritation and redness at the site, and sometimes have a sensation of a lump in the back of the throat. Other symptoms include chronic sore throat, repeated infections, bad breath, and difficulty swallowing. One of the most common remedies is gargling with salt water, which can dislodge these tonsil stones in many cases. Waterpick type of devices can “power wash” the tonsil stones away. In situations where the tonsil stones are causing more severe discomfort or continue to recur, one should speak with an Otolaryngology-Ear Nose Throat specialist about whether a course of oral antibiotics or surgical removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy) is indicated. Opinions expressed here are those of myself, Dr. Daryl Colden. They are not intended as medical advice and cannot substitute for the advice of your personal physician.