Ruthann Haugen

Ruthann Haugen

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


The nasal septum is a crucial structure that divides the nasal cavity into two separate passages. It is made up of cartilage and bone and plays a vital role in maintaining proper airflow and facilitating the sense of smell. While it may seem like a simple part of our anatomy, the nasal septum actually holds many intriguing facts that are worth exploring.

In this article, we will delve into 13 fascinating facts about the nasal septum. From its functions and structure to various conditions and disorders that can affect it, we will uncover the intricacies of this important part of the human body. So, let’s dive in and uncover some intriguing insights about the nasal septum!

Table of Contents

The Nasal Septum is Not Always Straight

Contrary to popular belief, the nasal septum is not always perfectly straight. In fact, nearly 80% of people have some degree of deviation in their nasal septum. This can lead to issues such as difficulty breathing, snoring, or even sinus infections.

It Can Be Corrected with Surgery

For individuals experiencing severe symptoms due to a deviated septum, surgical intervention called septoplasty can be performed. This procedure aims to straighten the septum, allowing for improved airflow and alleviating associated problems.

It Provides Structural Support

The nasal septum provides crucial support to the nose, helping to maintain its shape and structure. Without a properly functioning septum, the nose may appear collapsed or misshapen.

It Can Impact Sense of Smell

A deviated septum or other abnormalities in the nasal passage can affect a person’s sense of smell. Proper airflow through the nasal cavity is essential for odor molecules to reach the olfactory receptors responsible for detecting scents.

It Can Cause Nosebleeds

A dry or irritated nasal septum can lead to frequent nosebleeds. The delicate blood vessels in the septum can rupture easily, resulting in spontaneous bleeding episodes.

It Helps Maintain Moisture

The nasal septum plays a vital role in maintaining the moisture balance within the nasal cavity. It has glands that produce mucus, which helps to humidify the air we breathe, preventing our nasal passages from drying out.

It Can Be Damaged from Trauma

Physical trauma to the nose, such as a sports injury or accident, can damage the nasal septum. In severe cases, this can result in a deviated septum, requiring medical intervention.

It Can Be Affected by Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as nasal polyps or chronic sinusitis, can cause inflammation and damage to the nasal septum. This can lead to breathing difficulties and other symptoms.

It Can Impact Sleep Quality

A deviated septum or other nasal abnormalities can contribute to sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Obstructed airflow during sleep can cause snoring, disrupted sleep patterns, and even daytime fatigue.

It Can Be Evaluated with a Nasal Endoscopy

A nasal endoscopy is a procedure that allows healthcare professionals to examine the nasal passages, including the septum, using a thin, flexible tube with a camera. This helps in diagnosing any abnormalities or conditions affecting the nasal septum.

It Can Impact Facial Symmetry

An uneven nasal septum can contribute to an uneven facial appearance. This is because the septum affects the alignment and position of the nasal structures, which play a significant role in overall facial symmetry.

It Can Cause Chronic Sinus Problems

A deviated or damaged nasal septum can disrupt normal sinus drainage, leading to chronic sinus problems. This can cause recurrent sinus infections, facial pain, and congestion.

It Can Be Affected by Aging

As we age, the nasal septum may weaken, leading to increased chances of deviation or collapse. This can cause nasal blockage, breathing difficulties, and other related symptoms.

The nasal septum may seem like a small and often overlooked part of the human anatomy, but its impact on our overall well-being is undeniable. From its role in maintaining proper airflow and humidity to influencing our senses and facial appearance, the nasal septum plays a crucial role in our daily lives. Understanding these intriguing facts about the nasal septum helps us appreciate the complexity and importance of this tiny yet significant structure.


The nasal septum plays a crucial role in the functioning of our respiratory system. It not only helps to divide the nasal cavity into two separate chambers but also helps in filtering, warming, and humidifying the air we breathe. Understanding the nasal septum and its various functions can help us appreciate the intricate design of our body.

From its role in maintaining nasal symmetry to its potential for deviations and disorders, the nasal septum is a fascinating structure. By caring for our nasal health and seeking appropriate medical attention when needed, we can ensure the optimal functioning of our respiratory system.

So the next time you feel that familiar tickle in your nose or find yourself marveling at the complexities of the human body, take a moment to appreciate the wonders of the nasal septum.


1. What is the nasal septum?

The nasal septum is a structure made up of bone and cartilage that divides the nasal cavity into two chambers.

2. What is the function of the nasal septum?

The nasal septum helps to filter, warm, and humidify the air we breathe. It also plays a role in maintaining nasal symmetry.

3. Can the nasal septum become deviated?

Yes, a deviated septum occurs when the nasal septum is off-center or crooked, leading to difficulties in breathing and other potential health issues.

4. How is a deviated septum treated?

Treatment for a deviated septum may involve medications for symptom relief or surgical correction, depending on the severity and impact on the individual’s quality of life.

5. Are there any common disorders associated with the nasal septum?

Yes, common disorders include septal perforation, nasal septal hematoma, and nasal septal abscess. These conditions may require medical intervention.