Recurrent sinus infections can be debilitating and cause you to miss time at work. If you are experiencing sinus infections on an ongoing basis, you may need to be evaluated for a deviated septum. Here's how a deviated septum can cause recurrent sinus infections and what can be done to reduce your risks of sinus infections in the future.
What is a deviated septum?
The septum should be straight and centered between the nasal cavities in order to allow for symmetrical airflow into both. When the septum is not in the center, it can cause a narrowing in one nasal cavity, which obstructs the movement of air in that side of the nose. It is also possible for the septum to obstruct both sides of the nose if the septum is buckled or severely slanted.
Why a deviated septum can cause recurrent sinus infections
The narrowing of a nasal passageway can cause mucus to be unable to drain from the sinus to the nasal cavity. Excessive mucus is attractive to bacteria growth, which can lead to a sinus infection and inflammation of the sinus cavity. While antibacterials, anti-inflammatory medication, and decongestants can be used to treat sinus infections, it can be difficult to be constantly on medication, especially for a condition that can be treated with surgery.
What imaging you'll need to get a diagnosis of a deviated septum
To get a diagnosis of a deviated septum, you may need to have imaging done, such as a CT scan of your nasal passageways and sinuses. However, a nasal endoscopy can be done instead. This is done with a fiberoptic light on a flexible tube that is inserted into your nasal passage so the doctor can evaluate if there are any structural problems or abnormalities with your septum that may be causing your recurrent sinus infections.
Will your insurance cover the costs?
A septoplasty is a type of rhinoplasty surgery that is done to correct a deviated septum. This is a minimally invasive procedure that is done to restore the normal functionality of the nose and, therefore, the sinuses. Due to your recurrent sinus infections, your health insurance will likely pay for a septoplasty, which can be done by a plastic surgeon. However, in order to provide substantial proof that your septoplasty is medically required in order for your insurance company to cover the costs, you may need to get an independent medical evaluation done by an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
Talk to a professional like William M. Parell, MD, PSC to learn more.