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Take This Simple Test for a Deviated Septum and Control Your Snoring Problem

Tim Boyer's picture
Snoring treatment

Do you have trouble sleeping at night because you or your spouse snores? One reason could be due to a deviated septum. Read on to learn about one simple test that can tell you whether you or your spouse has a deviated septum and what you can do about it.

On a recent episode of The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Oz tells viewers that their sleep-depriving snoring could be due to a condition that an estimated 80% of Americans have, many of who may not even realize they have it―a deviated septum in their nose.

The Deviated Septum Test

• Place an index finger against the right nostril and breathe in while noting how easily air passes through your left nasal passage.

• Repeat with an index finger against the left nostril and breathe in while noting how relatively easier or harder it was to breathe through your right nasal passage.

According to Dr. Oz, this simple test will tell you whether or not you have a deviated septum that could be the cause of a common health problem such as difficulty breathing and snoring during sleep.

The nasal septum is the barrier between the two nostrils that is made up of bone and cartilage that essentially divides the nasal cavity into two halves where air passes equally through when breathing in and out. However, if the nasal septum is off center or crooked, then this creates an imbalance in air flow that can make breathing difficult in certain circumstances such as when suffering from a head cold or when trying to sleep at night.

A deviated septum can either be inborn or can develop following an injury to the nose such as blunt force trauma due to a baseball hitting you on the nose. A deviated septum is common in boxers who have been in the sport for a number of years.

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While the most common symptom of a deviated septum is that of nasal congestion where you may feel more congested on one side of the nose than the other. This congestion can then lead to sleep apnea which in turn can then lead to constant exhaustion and other health problems.

People at Risk for a Deviated Septum

Dr. Oz tells viewers that lack of sleep is serious and could be due to a deviated septum. He identifies people at risk of having a deviated septum as those:

• Individuals who have frequent sinus infections
• Individuals who have trouble sleeping
• Individuals who snore

“If you suffering because of these problems, then it’s a medical issue. You can’t just ignore a deviated septum, you can actually address it,” says Dr. Oz who tells viewers that it can be treated typically with surgery to correct the septum’s position― a surgical procedure called septoplasty, but in some cases all it takes is changing your sleeping position to avoid snoring.

Dr. Oz’s recommendation is to sleep with your head turned against the pillow on the same side of your face as the blocked nostril you determined from the aforementioned deviated septum test.

“Whatever side is the bad side, you are going to sleep with that side down on the pillow,” says Dr. Oz. “It may not come naturally, but if the side that’s being blocked up by the septum is down, then it is going to open up the other side and let more air through―you’re not blocking up the one good side with the pillow and you will feel better.”

Although, the pillow method to stop snoring is effective, there are also a number of home remedies for snoring that may work as well according to one analysis of this common problem.

However, if your snoring persists in spite of self-treatment, Health authorities recommend that if you are having difficulty breathing in and out of one of your nasal passages and suspect that you may have a deviated septum, that you should see an ENT―an ears, nose and throat doctor―to evaluate your nostrils and rule out the possibility that you may be suffering from chronic sinusitis or allergy problems rather than a truly deviated septum.

Image Source: Courtesy of PhotoBucket
Reference: The Dr. Oz Show



That's the question, when to see a doctor about deviated septum. Going to look for some alternative treatments for snoring.
Great coverage of one the issues related to snoring. People are very unaware that snoring is sometimes a symptom of a sleep issue or disorder. Good advice plus good to see the writer suggesting seeing a medical professional if the problem persists. It is down to all of us in the industry to raise awareness of how snoring is an issue not just a part of modern life.
This is not a very accurate test at all...it's now common knowledge that one nostril works harder than the other at any given time. It's more noticeable when you have a cold, that you will breathe better through one nostril, and then a couple hours later that one will be completely blocked up and the other one is clear. Doing this test will only let you know which nostril is working harder. If you suspect you have a deviated septum, go to the doctor. They're the only one who can give you the correct answer.
I had a sinus x-ray done that showed I was missing the frontal sinus on the right side, then a cat scan that showed I have a deviated septum as well as an inverted middle turbinate. When I was sent to ENT after findings, they told me that I had neither, and that the doctor reading the scans just put it in there. I miss work due to headaches, and from having next to no sleep almost nightly. But apparently my nose is normal. Starting to think I will just have to deal with constant headaches, sinus infection, full ear feeling, and post nasal drip.