Does a Deviated Septum Cause Snoring?

August 25, 2018

4 minutes

Reviewed by Michael Kaplan, MD

If you have a deviated septum, it’s likely that many sleepless nights have left you wondering, “does a does a deviated septum cause snoring?” Or maybe you’re wondering what causes snoring in the first place?

The short answer to “Does a deviated septum cause snoring”? Yes. Deviated septums are known to cause snoring. But there are many important factors to consider before you conclude that a deviated septum is the cause of your snoring.

Understanding deviated septums

What is a deviated septum?

A deviated septum occurs when the wall between your nostrils, known scientifically as the nasal septum, deviates more to one side than the other, leaving you with one nostril that’s larger than the other.

How does a person get a deviated septum?

There are two main deviated septum causes. The first is injury-related. For example, maybe your nose has been smashed too many times by an incoming soccer ball, or you were in a car accident that damaged your face. Any of these physical injuries may result in a crooked (deviated) nasal septum.

Some people develop a deviated septum in the womb. A deviated septum can also emerge as part of the body’s natural aging process.

How common is it to have a deviated septum?

Having a deviated septum is very common; an estimated 80% of the human population have asymmetrical nostrils. However, a much smaller percent of the population have a septal deviations severe enough to cause issues.

How do you know if you have a deviated septum?

An ear, nose, and throat doctor can examine your nose and tell you whether you have a deviated septum or not, but these common deviated septum symptoms might tip you off to a potential issue:

  • Frequent obstruction of the nostrils and acute awareness of which nostril is obstructed
  • Nosebleeds
  • Nasal infections and sinus infections
  • A preference for sleeping on one side over the other
  • Loud breathing, snoring, and sleep apnea, and dry mouth
  • Postnasal drip
  • Facial pain and pressure

Another, albeit less recognized symptom, is frequent headaches. (How can a deviated septum cause headaches?Read more in our blog.)

Does a deviated septum cause snoring?

Can a deviated septum cause sleep apnea and snoring? As noted above, yes, a deviated septum may be the culprit behind your propensity to saw the log. In these cases, the deviated septum is blocking your nasal airway during sleep, which can cause snoring. The side effects of snoring and sleep apnea are far-reaching, and can even affect your spouse.  

That said, there are many causes of snoring, and a deviated septum is only one. Your nasal passages might be blocked by mucus from a sinus infection, nasal infection, or everyday allergies. Age, weight, and gender can also determine the likelihood that you snore, as can your sleeping position, mouth anatomy, and whether or not you drink alcohol.

Deviated septum treatment

The answer to “does a deviated septum cause snoring” maybe yes, but the answer to “does my deviated septum cause snoring” doesn’t have to be. There are options for deviated septum treatment without surgery, but deviated septum surgery, known as septoplasty, is by far the most permanent solution for how to repair a deviated septum.  

The septoplasty procedure consists of reforming and repositioning the nasal cartilage to open up the blocked nasal passage. The length of the surgery depends on how severe your nasal cavity is blocked, but most procedures take less than an hour to complete.

Deviated septum surgery recovery may not be as short as balloon sinuplasty surgery recovery, but it still lasts only a few weeks.

Does your deviated septum cause snoring? Not for long.

For deviated septum-related snoring, balloon sinuplasty can be an effective solution. If you’re looking for a “sinus doctor near me,” ENT specialist Dr. Michael Kaplan is here to help. Dr. Kaplan and the team at Sinus Kaplan Relief can perform the septoplasty procedure in-office, as well as other snoring treatment as needed.

Put your snoring to bed. Call (713) 597-8914 to schedule an appointment today.

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