Having some deviation of the septum is common. When a deviated septum is severe, it can block one side of your nose and reduce airflow, causing difficulty breathing through one or both sides of your nose.

The additional exposure of a deviated septum to the drying effect of airflow through the nose may sometimes contribute to crusting or bleeding in certain individuals. Septoplasty straightens the nasal septum by trimming, repositioning and replacing cartilage, bone or both.

If you experience symptoms — such as difficulty breathing through your nose — that significantly affect your quality of life, you may consider surgery to correct a deviated septum.

Aug. 13, 2013