Deviated Septum From Cocaine or Meth Use

A deviated septum, also known as a nasal septum perforation, refers to a crooked septum.

The septum is the bridge in the center of the nose that divides the nasal cavity in half to create two nostrils. In a deviated septum, one nostril is wider than the other. According to WebMD, a deviated septum is more common that one would think. In fact, approximately 80 percent of people have some sort of alignment problem that affects the positioning of their septum. However, most people do not realize it until they suffer from severe breathing problems.

There are various causes of a deviated septum. According to MD Guidelines, many are born with one, as the condition is often hereditary. However, injury, trauma and even nose picking can also cause the septum to become off balance. Certain diseases such as cancer, syphilis and tuberculosis can also cause the septum to perforate. Habitual cocaine use is also a culprit.

Repeated irritation to the cartilage and lining of the nose results in an increased risk of a deviated septum.

This is why frequent cocaine or meth use through snorting can cause this type of injury. Sometimes the condition may go away on its own, especially if cocaine use ceases right away. If not, continued use will just make the situation worse. The person may lose their ability to smell or suffer from breathing problems. It may become so severe that surgery is required.

Symptoms of Deviated Septum

According to WebMD, nasal congestion is the most common symptom of a deviated septum.

One nostril is typically more congested than the other. The person may also have recurrent sinus infections or difficulty breathing. Crustiness and dryness in the nasal passages is also possible. In addition, a person may experience nosebleeds, headaches, loud snoring, postnasal drip and facial pain. Some people may even hear a whistling sound when air passes through the perforated septum.

What You Should Know About Deviated Septum Surgery

Those who are experiencing severe discomfort from a deviated septum can typically fix the problem with surgery.  According to WebMD, here are some things you should know about this type of surgery, also called a septoplasty:

  • It is sometimes combined with rhinoplasty to fix the nose’s appearance or sinus surgery to repair sinus problems caused by the deviated septum.
  • The surgery is done in an outpatient setting and takes about 90 minutes.
  • Splints may be used inside the nose to keep the septum in place.
  • There may be one to two weeks of bruising and swelling, depending on if more than one surgery is being performed.
  • For best results, septoplasty should be performed after age 15, when the nose has stopped growing. This could be even later in boys.
  • Risks of septoplasty include infection, bleeding and loss of smell.
  • For minor cases, balloon septoplasty can be done in an office setting without actually having to perform surgery.

The Underlying Addiction Must Be Treated

Cocaine and meth use can cause many health problems, and these are not limited to nose problems. If you have a deviated septum, you must treat the underlying cocaine or meth addiction before you correct the septum issue with surgery. Otherwise, you’ll be back in the same situation in the near future.

Don’t ruin your body through drug use. Get the help you need to kick the habit. We can help you locate cocaine and meth addiction treatment facilities in your area. Call us today for a free assessment and guidance regarding your next steps.