Deformities of the nasal cavity may occur as a result of a congenital defect, traumatic injury or medical condition and can lead to an abnormal appearance. Nasal deformities can be classified as either cosmetic or functional. Cosmetic nasal deformities affect the physical appearance of the nose. Functional nasal deformities affect the function of the nose, which may include problems with breathing, snoring, sinuses, taste and smell.
Symptoms of Nasal Deformity
Symptoms of a nasal deformity can vary depending on the cause and condition related to the deformity. Symptoms for functional and cosmetic nasal deformities may include:
- Deformed physical appearance of the nose
- Nasal obstruction
- Sinus problems
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Difficulty speaking or eating
Causes of Nasal Deformity
Nasal deformities may be caused by a congenital problem and are often present at birth. They may include problems caused by a cleft lip or palate, a deviated or perforated septum or a mass on the nose. Additional causes for nasal deformities may include:
- Nasal trauma
- Prior nasal surgery
- Medical conditions such as Wegener's granulomatosis, sarcoidosis, and relapsing polychondritis
- Weakening of the nasal structures due to aging
Treatment of Nasal Deformity
Treatment of a nasal deformity depends on the type and severity of the condition, as well as the patient's age, overall health and expected outcome. Deformities that are purely cosmetic may not require treatment unless desired by the patient. Surgery is most often performed to correct any physical disfigurement and restore function to the nose and airway, and may include skin and tissue grafts, which can be taken from another area of the body or from a donor. Other patients may benefit from surgical repair of fractures or an opening of the passageway to allow for proper breathing. Medication may be prescribed to help alleviate sinus problems, fight infection or restore breathing.
A doctor will determine which type of treatment is best for each patient after a thorough evaluation of the individual condition.