The nasal septum is a sheet of cartilage and bone that divides the nose into right and left chambers. A deviated septum is a condition where the septum is severely shifted away from the midline, bent, crooked or misshapen. Some degree of septal deviation is very common, as roughly 80 percent of all nasal septums are deviated.
The most common symptoms resulting from a deviated septum are nasal congestion, nasal obstruction, difficulty breathing through the nose, and snoring. Nasal congestion and breathing symptoms may be worse on one side or alternate sides. Symptoms may occur all day or primarily at night. In some patients, the drainage of the sinuses is inhibited, resulting in repeated sinus infections or post-nasal drip. A deviated septum may be present at birth, caused by an injury, or result from damage from previous treatments or surgery.