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HomeAnswersOtolaryngology (E.N.T)cocaineI suspect developing a perforated septum. Please help.

I have nasal problems since I used cocaine. Will damaged tissues repair by itself?

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Published At January 25, 2018
Reviewed AtFebruary 18, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Apologies for the detailed post but I want to make sure I cover everything. I have been having nasal problems since I used cocaine two weeks ago. I am not a regular user of any drug but have used cocaine three times in the past year, about 1 g per time. I have been concerned about a perforated septum. My GP has had a look and has said there is no evidence of such but there was soreness or inflammation. I have also checked and cannot see a hole but I am not sure what I am looking for. I have booked in to see an ENT specialist but there is a two-week waiting list and I am growing increasingly concerned. My symptoms were: 1. Blood in mucus when blowing my nose. This reduced across a 10-day period and has now stopped (I was prescribed an anti-inflammatory cream and I have also been using saline spray). 2. Stuffy and dry nose which is still present. 3. Slight nasal pain across the bridge of the nose. 4. Bit of an odd one but if I massage where my sinus is my nose clicks or pops as if there is a cartilage damage. 5. I get occasional whistling noise when congested and breathing in. My questions are: 1. If my doctor sees no evidence of perforation and I abstain from any further usage, will this mean perforation will not occur. 2. Does the initial vasoconstriction caused by cocaine cease after use or does it continue? 3. Will any damaged mucosa or tissue repair itself over time? 4. What could the weird popping be? 5. In your experience would minor usage (as described above) lead to irreparable damage? 6. Would the whistling I am experiencing be more constant if there was a hole in the septum? 7. Is there anything I should ask or state at my ENT appointment? I will not be using again but would really appreciate your guidance. Thank you.

Answered by Dr. Mehak Agarwal


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Yes, if you stop using cocaine, perforation will not occur if your nose is healthy. It stops gradually. But you may need a course of steroid and nasal wash. It will repair but it depends on the severity of damage. Popping in the nose can be due to infection or drying. I can confirm after examining. No. A small hole will heal but larger one needs to be repaired by surgery. In your case examination is most important.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Mehak Agarwal
Dr. Mehak Agarwal

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)

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