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Deviated Septum
December 2003

Q. For the last several years my husband has battled with sinus infections and has been on numerous antibiotics, decongestants, nasal sprays, allergy shots and steroids from his doctor. He also suffers from severe headaches with nausea.

We have finally found an ear, nose, throat physician (ENT) that ordered two tests. The results from the first CAT scan of his sinuses has showed that he has a deviated septum. He will have a sleep apnea test also. Are the headaches and nausea part of the symptoms of a deviated septum? Can a deviated septum cause sleep apnea? If his headaches have eased off and he is straining to lift something a little heavy, is it normal for the headaches to return?

A. Nasal congestion associated with other symptoms is a very common complaint in medical practice. Many different factors may be present, including anatomical problems, infection, and allergy.

A deviated septum is a common condition and may or may not cause much trouble. The approach that has been tried should be helping for infection or allergy problems after a period of time. Unless the septum condition is severe, it is unlikely this is causing such diffuse symptoms as described.

The headaches may not even be related to any nose or sinus condition. Migraine headaches are often confused with sinus problems due to the location of pain in the sinus areas, forehead and cheeks. A neurologist should be consulted as well to check for this possibility, as entirely different treatment could be helpful.



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