Q. I am always congested with difficulty breathing during sleep. Do I have deviated nasal septum?

Answered by
Dr. B Vageesh Padiyar
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 26, 2020

Hello doctor,

I am always congested. Flonase only provides temporary relief. Sometimes nostrils switch congested side. It is hard to breathe when falling asleep. Do I have a deviated septum?

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Diagnosis of the deviated nasal septum can only be made when we have examined the nostril through a procedure what we call as anterior rhinoscopy.

Congestion and obstruction in the nose existing on the side for a while and then shifting to the opposite side every 12 hours is a part of the normal nasal cycle which is not normally perceived. However, in a situation where there is existing inflammation or deviation in the nasal septum, the net effective patency of the airway comes down.

Nasal congestion can be attributed to ongoing subclinical allergy as well and is often associated with sneezing, irritation in the nose, headaches, and postnasal drip causing irritation in the throat.

If you have been examined by any doctor and if he/she has observed that there is nasal septal deviation and if there is a coexisting allergy as well. We need to treat the underlying allergy first before we surgically correct the septum.

To get rid of the nasal congestion you can consider the following advice.

Take tablet containing N-acetyl cysteine one tablet two times a day after food 12 hours apart for the next 10 days, tablet containing Fexofenadine with Levocetirizine one tablet twice daily after food for 10 days.

Saltwater gargles 8 to 10 times a day for one month. Keep sipping on boiled warm water every two hours for the next one month. Duonase nasal spray two puffs in each nostril two times a day for the next one month. Steam inhalations four to six times a day. Avoid entry of any irritative substance in the nose (dust, fumes, smoke, etc). Otrivin nasal drops three drops thrice a day for the next one week. This typically takes around two weeks for things to settle down.

I hope this helps.


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