Is a Deviated Septum giving you a headache?

Recently I got an email from Scott, who had just been diagnosed with a "deviated septum".  He has daily headaches, and was wondering if a deviated septum could be responsible.

First, a little background.  What is a deviated septum?

Deviated septum

Your nasal septum is the partition between the right and left parts of your nose.  When a person has a deviated septum, it’s pulled over to one side or the other (the one in the illustration is deviated to your left).

There can be a number of causes, and sometimes we can’t be sure why one particular person has a deviation.  Sometimes surgery can cause this, or an injury, or perhaps a traumatic birth, or it may even occur during the baby’s development in the womb.

Question #1 – can a deviated septum trigger headache symptoms?  Yes, in some people it can.

Question #2 – how likely is it that a deviated septum is the primary trigger or cause?  In other words, what are the chances that surgery will solve the headache problem in any given person?  In most cases, it’s not very likely that surgery will solve your headache problem.

A deviated septum is actually very common – 4 in 5 people have it.  One way to see if you might have a deviation is to try breathing through either nostril while blocking the other.  If there’s a significant difference in air flow, you may have a deviation.

There are at least two reasons this may cause headaches.  Most commonly, the septum may block mucus, causing frequent recurring sinus infection.  That’s a major recipe for a headache!

Drs Young and Silberstein have also noticed a different kind of "deviated septum headache", which they write about in their book Migraine and Other Headaches:
Rarely, a deviated septum may cause a one-sided headache on the side toward which the septum deviates.  If the septum deviation is causing the headache, placing a small piece of paper soaked in an anesthetic (lidocaine or Novocaine®) will relieve the headache.  The treatment is surgical straightening of the deviated sinus.

Note that this is rare – it’s more likely that, if you have problems, it will be with a sinus infection.

If neither of these situations seem to fit you, chances are surgery will not help.

If you do opt for surgery, it’s called a septoplasty, and it’s done in a day.  It usually won’t change the look of your nose.  It is a fairly safe surgery, though with all surgery there are risks.  It won’t instantly cure sinus infections, but it can make you less susceptible.  The more deviated the septum was, the greater the improvement usually is.  Read more about surgery for a deviated septum here.

Have you had experience with surgery for a deviated septum?  Did it help you with your headaches?  Leave a comment and tell us about it.

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45 comments… add one
  • Karin Sep 3, 2008

    Three septoplasties for deviated septum ,and opening up very small opening to sinuses (ethmoid) Sinus infections are gone. Sinus headaches are gone.Breathing and stuffiness normalized. NO more antibiotics!!!! 6 years.BUT Migraines/clusters? not. Related to weather/ hormones ????. Searching for answers and cause . Getting little help. Surgery may have worsened? Is it possible, perhaps scaring?Things just keep getting worse.

    • Pat Vaughn Sep 13, 2012

      Hi Karin, I just read your comments from 2008 and wonder how you are doing today? We are looking for solution(s) to same symptoms you mentioned..including whether hormones and/or other has been determined..

      Thank you so much for taking the time here to respond. psv

    • cindy Apr 18, 2016

      Hi Karin,

      i had since surgery about 25 years ago and started getting migraines after the surgery. i have up to 20 in one month right now. I just learned of bone spurs and that may be my issue, but finding an ENT that believes me is difficult.

      • Linda May 24, 2016

        I have had chronic migraines for years and receive treatment from a head pain specialist (neurologist). For 2 years Botox injections have worked very well and had only approximately 2 migraines a month. However approximately 1 year ago I began waking up with a severe migraine in my forehead. It was difficult to ease the pain. So I began taking amerge every evening before going to bed and that seemed to help – but still felt headachy. I recently visited my neurologist and again shared my concerns. I also get sinus infections a couple times of year and had a deviated septum. My neurologist felt that my headaches weren’t sinus related and probably migraines. But after further discussion she said that if I have a nasal spur that presses on the nerve in my nose – I could have “contact point” headaches. There is a way to determine if in fact the “contact point” was causing the migraines every morning – she gave me a nasal spray (oxymetazoline/tetracaine/benzocaine). Instructions were to spray solution in my nose when I had the migraine. If the migraine is decreased significantly or goes away then it is very likely that I do have contact point headaches. Prior to seeing the neurologist I had been in to see 2 ENTs because of frequent sinus infections. Neither ENT gave much notice about the contact point. Each said I had a spur and enlarged turbinates. After I used the spray solution and the headache went away fast I went back to the ENT I selected to do my sinus surgery – I told him I was convinced I had a “contact point” and told him why – showing him the nasal spray. I emphasized that the spur needed to be removed during the surgery. Long story short – I had the surgery on April 28th and as of May 10th – I no longer wake with a migraine!!! It is amazing. However, I have had 2 migraines (not located in the forehead) and will still get the Botox injections. I am certain I would not have been approved for the surgery if I had not had major sinus issues. I truly believe that you have to keep trying to find solutions by seeing different specialists and doing your own research. I wish you the best and hope you can get some relief from your migraines. Linda

  • Mary Oct 31, 2008


    I would like to know what kind of remedies, natural or other, are available for persistent migraine-type headaches caused by a deviated septum. I’ve tried just about everything, but nothing seems to give any significant relief.

  • G Banfield Mar 29, 2009

    I have a history of sinus infections. For the past few months I have gotten worse with symptoms such as post nasal drip, nothing flowing through the nostrils, headache, facial pain, ears cracking and congestion. About 8 years ago I saw an ear, nose & throat specialist and was told there was nothing wrong and that there is no such thing as a sinus infection. I have been using sinus rinse but it is not helping a whole lot. If anyone has any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.

    • Liza May 28, 2011

      I’ve been suffering with sinuses pain as well for about two years, my ENT told me to use Nazalcorth which has helped me, but not to use it too often, you can use it for five days as prescribed by your specialist. Or also you can try going to the beach and swimming with your head under the water or you can also buy Maxi Air Nose Cones from the drug store…

      • joe Jun 6, 2014

        Don’t swim in the ocean anymore. Fukushima has ruined our oceans and clearly now our ecosystem. In 2008 the ocean wasn’t as bad as it is now, so don’t go near the beaches or eat anything from the sea or you will die off like the pelicans, plankton, sea lions, mackerel, sardines, …

        Check daily, folks. During fallout rains (storms above 20k ft tops are worse), my deviated septum and sinus issues are exacerbated more since 2011 than before, when I often had no sinus issues. I have experienced some starting yet not surprising correlations between the severity of my sinus symptoms and higher rad fallout days (50-300 CPM) vs. “normal” background level (24 CPM) days. I’ve stopped living in denial about the whole thing, and having a Geiger which is sensitive enough to measure alpha, beta, and gamma has proven invaluable to someone as sensitive as me (or am I really?) since I can avoid the higher rad days when possible.
        I frequently have been suffering from migraines on the side of my head where my nostril has the least airflow. Any exacerbation in my sinus issues, especially the deviated septum problem, causes me migraines more easily than ever. I know that I am sensitive to the apparent changes in air quality, as evidenced by scientific instrumentation, and I felt this finding was significant enough to share.

  • Tarun Saluja Jun 26, 2009

    Hi Karin!
    You are lucky because after 3 surgeries your all problems had gone. I have gone for a septoplasty 2 times and FESS 1 time and after the surgeries i felt very little improvement in the symptoms.

  • Nancy Nov 21, 2009

    I have deviated septum adenoids and turbinates surgery and also my tonsils removed. My tonsils are doing pretty good little pain from the scabies, but my nose still hurting;sometimes i can breath fine other times is stuff. What is bothering me the most is the constant headaches that dont go away. Is this is normal? my 1st visit to the surgeon he said everything was all right i dont see him again until 12/7/09. My nose is stuff sometimes other times is running and lot of sneezing. I do my saline solution but i dont think is helping. Can i take sinus pills for the heaches? Any adviced

    • Liza Jun 5, 2012

      Hi, I’m Liza, I have the same issues with my Deviated Septum, I struggle a lot with it, I tried not taking too many medications for it as I cope with lots of head aches, I think you should take Sinus/Allergies Medications instead, but consult with your doctors first, specially if you happen to have High Blood Pressure or not, if you do by any chance, Sinus Medications will increase you B/P. Another thing keeping your home clean from dust.. etc.. that’s makes such a big differences……

  • Kamran Dec 9, 2009

    Hi All!
    i had broken my nose in my school times after that i developed recurrent throat infections, Blocked nose etc..i went to doctor in 2001 where i was diagnosed with DNS so i went through a surgery Called SMR (Sub Mucousal Resection) This surgery helped me alot but recurrent sinus & throat infection didnt go & offcourse post nasal drip i met an ENT specialist again he said there is no deviation at all & i dont need any more septoplasty. well life was horrible.. now ive started drinking Ginger Tea & gargling with Cassia Fistula and Nasal irrigation at night & it helped alot…. with u all the best

  • James Dec 9, 2009

    Thanks for all your comments.

    It’s so important to do your research before you resort to surgery. Even so-called “simple” or “minor” surgeries can have a far-reaching impact.

    There are many, many treatments for migraine and headache these days – it would truly take a lifetime to try them all. Do your research and make sure you’re trying what has the best chance of success.

  • Chelle Feb 20, 2011

    Bumped heads with my son a few weeks ago and have had severe headaches ever since. Doctor diagnosed a deviated septum and possibly broken nose. Waiting to seee the speciailist. Pain is mostly centered on the front of my head/top of my nose. Almost like a sinus infection pain but not quite as spread out. Pain is horrible, Motrin/Tylenol don’t touch it. What can I do for pain relief until I can get in to see the specialist???

  • Elaine Jan 10, 2012

    After repeated migraines which I thought were sinus infections my ENT had me get a CAT scan which showed a slight deviated septum. After surgery to correct it, it did not change the frequency of my migraines.

  • jennyct Feb 19, 2012

    Years of headaches on one side radiating from above teeth to eye. Sinus cysts that keep getting bigger. Post nasal on same side as headaches. Had an abscess above one tooth that could ONLY be diagnosed with CT scan (normal dental xrays) and I thought that was the end of it. Well every time I brush my teeth with an electric toothbrush, it’s back and the only thing that helps is over the counter nasal spray. I even wake up unable to move affected eyelid in the morning.
    I guess I need to try the local anesthetic test next, but it’s rare, right?

  • Douglas Jun 2, 2012

    All the symptoms are there for me, post nasal drip, difficulty breathing on one side of nostril, headaches, sleep apnea. Things I’ve done sleep on side with mouthpiece, nasal spray, no alcohol, no computer or food within 2 hours of bedtime. Still doesn’t work. Most have said surgery doesn’t help, what’s left? I guess I need to be more consistent with my treatments.

    • Corey Jackson May 19, 2017

      I would say deviated septum is more likely to cause obstructive hypopneas. Also if you have trouble breathing then that can also attribute to fatigue as well (one of the main symptoms of sleep apnea) so septoplasty may help either way. If you use nasal strips and you feel less fatigued then that may be a good indicator.

  • Linda Jun 14, 2012

    Fell a year ago May, now sinus pain, eye pain, headachs, running nose, sinus pressure, face tingling and ringing in ears. Dr. says I have a deviated septum, I have had so many medical problems. I am going to have surgery next month. I need to get some relief.

  • Sangram Mar 5, 2013

    Septum of my nose is deviated to its RIGHT. IT causes less air to flow from my right nostril and more to flow from the left nostril. I’m experiencing Headache on my Left side of the head and I personally think it is due to the excess airflow from the Left nostril. Also, eyesight of my right eye is getting lower and lower and the right area of my face has become heavier. Even the hearing capacity of my right ear has affected. Has deviated septum (to right) caused my face to feel heavier to its right side (including my right eye site and right ear affected).. and the excess flow of air from left nostril giving me headache on my left side of the head ?? Can anyone please help me on this.

  • Mary Mar 30, 2013

    This summer, my teenage daughter developed a dull constant headache, right in the center of her lower forehead. No over-the- counter or prescription medications reduced the pain. This past week she had septoplasty for a deviated septum, turbinate reduction, and also had a bone spur removed. After suffering for 7 months with the constant headache, it is now gone.
    During the long process of diagnosing her problem, one Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor, used Afrin nasal spray on her and in about an hour her headache was gone. When the spray wore off (8 hours later), the headache returned. The Afrin was a huge clue in determining that my daughter’s headache was likely due to a nasal problem. (Note: Afrin is very addicting and can severely damage your nose and should not be used for more than 3 days, I do not recommend using it, but it could serve as a beneficial diagnostic tool.)
    The radiologist who read my daughter’s CT of the sinuses scan did not mention a bone spur on the report and listed the septal deviation as slight. Of the 4 ENT’s we saw, one detected a bone spur and a contact point on the CT scan, he also said that her septum was severely deviated. Two of the ENT’s, said that headaches do not come from nose problems. They did not give my daughter a thorough exam and and just referred us to neurologists, (which we had already seen.)
    We are very thankful that we have good insurance and were able to see multiple doctors and that we finally found one that actually cared, took the time, and knew that….. yes, some headaches are caused by nose problems.

    • Mary Mar 31, 2013

      Only one of the doctors (the one that diagnosed my daughters’ problem) took the time to do the anesthetic test, (as mentioned in the above article, in regards to Drs Young and Silberstein book.) Although my daughters’ septum was deviated to the left, the headache was centrally located, the anesthetic test did lessen her headache.

      • Amy Sep 30, 2013

        Your daughter’s problem sounds very similar to my son’s. His ENT does not think a deviated septum has any relation to headaches. I’m interested in finding an ENT in Dallas that is open to the idea of the deviated septum causing headaches. If you don’t mind, please let me know who your ENT is. Even if he/she is not in Dallas, I can check with him for a local recommendation. Thank you.

        • Mary Oct 1, 2013

          Hi Amy,
          My daughter actually had the same headache problem and surgery in 2010. I felt her story was too long to earlier post but I will elaborate as the details may help you are someone else. The first ENT that discovered my daughter’s nose problem did not want to do the surgery because of my daughter’s age and a pediatric ENT did the first surgery in 2010. Immediately after that surgery, the headache was gone. But 2 years later it came back. We went back to the pediatric doctor and he examined her and looked a new Ct scan of the sinuses, and said there was nothing wrong. He told us to see a neurologist. Even though he knew my daughter’s headache was gone after his surgery he was still telling us headaches do not come from nose problems. We then went back to the ENT that had found her problem, he examined my daughter and compared the old CT scan to the new and told us that the bone spur and deviated septum were still there. The pediatric doctor had only removed the tip of the bone spur and did not adequately straighten her septum, and it somehow shifted. She also had extremely enlarged turbinates. He explained that the deviated septum was causing the bone spur to push on a nerve area, this was then sending a pain signal to the brain, and causing her to feel the constant headache. The ENT again did not want to do the surgery as my daughter now also had a septal perforation from the first surgery. He referred us to a plastic surgeon. In the meantime, I found Dr. Smith online, from Houston, TX, an ENT who specialized in headaches. He has a regular practice but also offers a CT Scan Review Program, for anyone that does not live nearby or is in need of a second opinion. He reviewed our daughter’s CT scan and reported the same things wrong as the ENT. Dr. Smith then gave his surgical recommendations. So we were now fairly certain, this was again the same problem she had in 2010. The plastic surgeon did not see a bone spur in her nose or on the CT scan. We asked him, “If he were doing the surgery and there was a bone spur, would he see it. ” He said, “He did not know.” So went to a younger ENT, who said her septum was very deviated and he thought he could see the bone spur but he also could not see the spur on the CT scan. He knew that headaches can sometimes be associated with nose problems, but he had never done surgery on someone with a constant headache. He did not know if surgery would take the headache away but was very confident and reassured us that everything that needed to be done would be. He said if my daughter has a bone spur, he would absolutely see it during the surgery. After this surgery it took a few days for the swelling inside her nose to go down, and when it did, the headache was gone. Dr. David T. Wahle at Tri-State Ear Nose and Throat in Evansville, IN found her problems. Dr. Taha Shipchandler at IU Health in Indianapolis, IN did the second surgery. The doctor that reviewed her CT was Dr. Kevin Smith, 640 Fannin, Suite 810, Houston, TX. I’m not sure of your distance to Houston, but Dr. Smith may be able to refer you to a colleague in the Dallas area. His office staff was extremely helpful and answered the many questions I had. We were very happy to have found him. Dr. Smith’s website is
          I wish the best of luck to you and your son and pray you are able to find the help you need. Do not give up. If you have any other questions, I would be more than happy to help.

  • Tudor Sfatosu Apr 13, 2014

    I suffer of pain in the forehead for seven years. Few people were able to get me on the right path. I recently found that it might be from the deviated septum. I see ny ENT doctor in 4 weeks. I find it quite long as my pain is there each day. I am happy to see your comments and the fact that there is a solution. Things to remember: bone spur and CT scan.
    Good luck!

  • Tracy Apr 26, 2014

    Thanks to all of you who took your time to share your story. Mary, your detailed explanation is especially appreciated.
    I am 45 and also deal with headaches that have increased as I age. I have had allergy testing, but nothing was found. Sinuses were pretty clear with imaging, but some was noted on right side. ENT noted I had deviated septum as well, supposedly quite significant. I’ve always had issues with my right eye and headache like pain more on right side. Nose is also plugged more on that side. I learned to manage my headaches better with nasonex and a health alternative called NAC, it keeps the mucus thinner, but has other health benefits. Weather changes seem to be the trigger where I can not manage these headaches. I am on the top of the list to have septom surgery, but had also been told it may not help headaches…so wasn’t sure if I would go through it. (Which brought me to this site).
    I see that the surgery has helped about half of you with headaches and no one has complained to much about this day surgery…I guess I’ll give it a go. Thanks again. Tracy

  • Mark May 26, 2014

    I suffer from headaches and have also been diagnosed many years ago with a deviated nasal septum. I get pressure pains in my face and also on forehead and top of head. I have started to use those nasal strips that stick onto the nose and somehow open up the airways and this gets rid of my headache and facial pain, I also take a 500mg Marshmallow Root tablet a day (available at alternative foods and health stores) and this helps with loosening and thinning mucus and helps also open the airways..

  • joe Jun 6, 2014

    You all be careful getting exposure to xray/ct. There’s some suppressed information surfacing evidencing genetic damage resulting from it. Dr. Helen Caldicott explains it well.. look her up on YouTube.

    I have found one herb that greatly helps with my headaches and migraines, and it’s something I have considered as a preventative. It is also an extremely effective antihistamine and anti-allergy solution for me and many others. I know some people use it FOR migraine control specifically. It’s called Mitragyna speciosa and is a member of the coffee family, but more mild than coffee. I’ve used it since 2007 and had no issues taking long breaks from it. Apparently, there’s a movement by some pharma giants to push the tree into scheduling territory thru lobbying legislators, as the media has been demonizing the heck out of the tree leaf and blatantly lying about almost everything being reported in the stories. What we believe is going on is that the drug companies may be scared to death if more ppl hear about the tree, as one of the main focuses of it are its ability to relieve pain better than prescribed alternatives, but WITHOUT the tolerance issues that are normally associated with them. Considering how commonly popular pain pills are prescribed as a bandaid (a scary demon to shake off one’s back too when addiction and tolerance sets in), Mitragyna easily becomes an easy target by the modern medical industry. It’s their biggest enemy ever encountered!

  • Claire Sep 28, 2014

    Have deviated nasal septum. one sided headaches on the lefside. Nerve above the forehead pains off late. At time get electric shocks while talking on the phone and then headaches. Feel better when I walk in the open air garden. Neurologist says nothing internal and hence nothing to worry all external. Sleep apnea and deprived from sleep for the past three months sometimes no sleep AT ALL at night!!! I barely sleep for two to three hours. Horomonal imbalance….almost depressed with my condition. Due to lack of sleep feel very lathergic. Vitamins (except Vitamin D), Calcium, blood reports all OK. MRIs OK. Did anyone has gone through such a situation. Help me please….

  • Andres Dec 3, 2015

    Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories. I have almost given up on a solution to the daily Demon headaches I have (It is there now, but not hurting so much i need to sit in the dark blowing my nose, drinking pints of water, steaming my head and drinking hot toddies. That was an hour ago!) A little over 2 years I have had the Headaches and over time they have become more painful and at times scary. I have tried numerous nasal sprays and tablets yet nothing seams to ease or prevent the Headaches. As I have battled depression, it’s been suggested the headaches are stress related and antidepressants have been changed and I have since stopped taking them. Every single day I have cracking in my ears, I feel my sinuses (right ear and nasal passage) tighten? My mouth dries out then the headache of electric shocks, pressure like pain and throbbing begins and lasts for 30 mins to 3 hours. Lately it feels like all the time. ENT identified a deviated septum on the right side but does not think it is the cause of the Headaches. So I felt lost with it still. Reading these stories has reassured me I am not alone and it is likely a sinus issue causing my suicidal provoking daily demon headaches. (Sorry, it’s just how frustrating this has been for so long)
    Your stories have given me hope.
    Thank you everyone.

    • crystal Apr 8, 2016

      You described your headaches better than Ive been able to. I feel exactly what you described. Only addition is ive noticed an increase in pain when I sit up or stand up from laying down, stooping, squatting , or just bending over. My first all out migraine that landed me in the ER was 5 years ago in 2011. ( minus the severe migrain diagnosed to be from meningitis back in 1998). Since 2011 I have had to get shots in the ER at least 3X a year to obtain any relief. I have been taking Zoloft (generic) since the tragic loss of my 2 youngest children in 2004. That same year(less than 2 days after) I started having grand mal seizures 3-5 a day at first. I was prescribed several anti epileptic drugs until they found one that would control them, which was keppra. Ive only had 1-4 seizures a year since taking the med and was never referred to see or follow up with a neurologist beyond my initial diagnosis. So for 10 years I just took my prescribed meds without much argument or question, and the few concerns I would bring to my general practitioner were always dismissed. Late 2013 I noticed more frequency in severe headaches and other issues like fatigue, inability to do most my normal activities due to loss of strength, couldn’t even lift a new gallon of milk, then one day I bent down and got stuck! Xray showed severe bone thinning?? And sciatica! Me being very active, thin, healthy eater And only 33 left me frustrated and searching for a reason….where did I go wrong?? After much digging I found blog after blog and page after page of people suffering the same muscle and bone loss as I all of which had been taking the rx Keppra for an extended period of time. My GP Doc. response was “well it’s unfortunate, but try and focus on the good part, at least your not having daily seizures”! Finally got new GP and saw that same neurologist again from 10 yrs prior…I tried explaining that I don’t want to continue being on meds forever… So he prescribed me different meds with 2x worse side effects which I have refused to start taking, therefore the neurologist refuses to see me any more. I dont want these meds, but dont want to end up w/statis uncontrollable seizures that ive been warned is a result of stopping the keppra. Worse yet is that they dismissed side effects I complained about years ago like…memory loss, agitation, worsening depression, severe headache, dry mouth, time lapse/loss..(2-6 hrs at a time), dreadful feelings of impeding doom, uncalled for fits of anger, isolation, and intensified phobias…that now have actually been proven and documented (added to the warning lables) and I have 0 compensation or an apology at the least for making me feel I was crazy for the last few years and imagining everything. Anyway, the headache is newer ( at least the kind Ive been experiencing like you described), and the whole treating me like a guinea pig or a nut has started all over again. To think I am a US Vet, college education with certificates and licenses ( now expired) in several fields, once an active volunteer on the humane society board, and huge outdoorswoman spending every possible moment camping, fishing, hiking….is all gone, everything I worked towards and for is just gone. Thanks for adding your personal symptoms, at least I don’t feel quite as nutty as they make me feel. 🙂

  • naren Feb 15, 2016

    I have daily headaches mostly onesides. I had septolasty and FESS two years ago. The septoplasty resulted in scar formation on septum. I can easily feel the air hurts the scar area. Please help. I hate breathing.

  • Kim Hamilton Feb 15, 2016

    I took suffered from chronic migraines for 41 years. I saw Kevin Smith in Houston who now is located at 1701 S Shepherd Drive. He is an ENT and a plastic surgeon. It is ten days after the surgery and I am migraine free. Not all ENT’s do the same type of septoplasty that Dr. Smith does. His is more than a septoplasty as he specializes in migraines and 90% of his patients receive relief from migraines. I had all the traditional symptoms of migraines and was having about 3 to 4 a week. I also had no history of any injury to my nose. I had a deviation that certainly was causing mine. If your migraines seem to start in your nose, don’t waste all those good years; call his office. I wish I could attach a couple of pics for you all. Good luck and God bless you all.

  • Chelsea Mar 15, 2016

    I have the same headaches. I never thought they were related to my nose until I went to a surgeon who specializes in internal and external nasal anatomy. He told me (from simply looking up my nose) that I have a deviated septum. After doing a CT scan, he showed me HOW deviated it was. Not only does it look like an S but it looks like an S with an extra hump! I also have a cyst that he says is most likely from previous untreated sinus infections. Anyhow, he diagnosed me with Sluder’s Neuralgia. My septum is deviated to a point that it is pressing against a turbinate and essentially causing headaches. I can feel the pressure 24/7 and get headaches anywhere from 3-5 times a week. He suggested septoplasty.

  • Tim Mar 17, 2016

    My wife has had chronic migraines for years. Multiple MRI’s, X-Rays, Neurologists, Neuro-suregons, PT, Botox, Stress counseling, a list of meds as long as your arm, and even a Mayo Clinic trip. She has had the deviated septum and a ‘small spir’ dignosed a few years back, but was told it was not the cause of her headaches. After a few walks thru Hell recently, we went back to an ENT, and a CT scan showed not only the deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, the Spir, but also he found a ‘Haller Cell Formation’ near her right eye, which is where her headaches are typically located. We’re optimistic, her surgery is scheduled in a couple of weeks under a CT for the Haller Cell removal. I will update in a month or so how it all went.

  • Dana Aug 5, 2016

    Thank you so much for leaving this comnent. This is EXACTLY what I’m going through, now if I could just get someone to listen to me. I’m so tired of having headaches and not being able to breath. I feel like I’m going crazy sometimes. I broke my nose years ago and I think I have a “contact point” but getting it fixed or getting someone to listen is exhausting. I’ve tried everything, nothing works to ease the pain. I’m so glad I’m not the only one.
    Thank you,

  • Robert Oct 5, 2016

    I have daily headaches, so bad that it makes me fell as if I am going to throw up, it is worse when I first wake up and they last like 4-5 hours, I also been diagnosed with a Deviated Septum. Have not had the surgery yet, waiting to see if the insurance I have will pay for it. I also have trouble breathing, facial pain, jaw pain, gum pain, feels as if my tongue is swelled, post nasal drip, cough, feeling hot, doctor said there is not thing wrong with my sinus cavities he point them out on the x-rays and said these are your sinus cavities and see they are empty. So I have no idea what is causing me to have headaches every single day and have facial pain, jaw and gum pain, feeling like I want to vomit, so tired I fall asleep like someone would who has sleep apnea, Don’t know if a deviated septum would do that or not. Will find out in 2 weeks or so.

  • Emma Dec 3, 2016

    Hi. I have a crooked bone in my nose that goes to my left. All the pain I get is mostly on the right. I get headaches, a horrible tight feeling, pain in my eyes and teeth. I almost had root canal treatment as I was convinced it was coming from my teeth, but then it disappeared and now it’s headache, and a really sore stinging in my nose. I also get an earache sometimes. I’ve had a scan on my sinuses, but they said they were Alright. I had a sinus washout when I was young , and they put an opening in my nose bone. They said I needed it broken and reset, but hadn’t asked me to sign for that bit, so didn’t do it. The specialist said it wouldn’t really be better till I had this done.
    When I told the latest specialist this, he said the other one was wrong. They have referred me to a neurologist, but he didn’t seem to think there was much wrong either. Every day I’m suffering, and I already suffer a lot with my nerves, so i feel like a wreck at the moment. Also I’m going for a short break next week to New York, and I’m worrying about the plane with the altitude, and worried that I’ll feel ill over there. Such a nuisance. It’s been an ambition to go there, for such a long time. I want to be able to enjoy it.

  • Emma Dec 3, 2016

    Sorry, it’s Emma again. I meant to say the pain I get is also mainly on my left side, not my right side as accidentally put before.

  • Levo Dec 10, 2016

    Thank you all. This was the most comprehensive info I ever got.
    I am a 44 y/o male and had suffered most of those pain and more for 25 years now. On top of those, last 4-5 years I have light sensitivity, i.e some flashes in my sight {partial zig-zag lines keep blinking for 10-30 minutes after I am exposed to bright daylight} which sometimes also trigger my headache. When headache hits, sometimes even my eye muscles are affected, feeling pain while looking up esp outer corners. Any wind warm or cold triggers my headache instantly. I found hair driers helped a bit; try and heat the cheeks and forehead. Strongest painkiller wouldn’t stop the headache but a-5min hair drier session usually does.
    For 15 years I have known that I had deviated septum but I never thought migraine could be the reason but always blamed an incurable sinusitis.
    So far I used sudafed mostly and almost daily and as long as my nasal ways are open I didn’t have much problem till 2010. Since then I am worried about my stomach and I either suck up and be miserable or use sudafed and live. I feel like a drug addict. I am having septum deviation surgery next wed and I plan to update here.

  • Bill Jan 15, 2017

    Hi Levo,

    thanks for your story. I have the same problem with milder headaches. But I am very sensitive to light in one eye – not able to watch TV or use the computer without serious discomfort and pain but only in one eye!

    How did the surgery go? and do you notice any difference? I also have a deviated septum.

  • Stan Kimani Jan 15, 2017

    Since I was 12 years old, I have been struggling with migraine headaches and blocked sinuses that I never knew about. When ENT Houston Smith center Otolaryngologist Dr. Smith appeard on the weekly doctors show and explained how many migraine patients are unware the root cause, that awaken me and I knew right away I had a deviated septum based on the symptoms he described. Traumatic soccer events with direct facial hits resulted in heavy nose bleeding and thereafter sun bathing heat would trigger bleeding.
    12/14 last month I had my septoplasty to correct my deviated septum and a balloon sinuplasty to dilate the openings of my sinuses that appeared blocked and filled with fluid, all this were confirmed by CT maxillary sinus scan. It’s been a month now with three weeks without any headache related episode.
    Very few PCP, ENT, neurologists etc have a clue of the possible deviated septum cause and effect relationship triggering the headaches or migraine. After my treatment, two of my coworker’s friends were treated of the same and are getting better.

    Here are some the things my deviated septum may have contributed that I first hand experienced:
    • Blockage of my left nostril
    • Nasal congestion, mostly left side with deviation
    • Nosebleeds when sun bathing or with a hot shower on my face/head.
    • Sun avoidance resulted in my vitamin D deficiency, high cholesterol although this does not
    prove a cause and effect relationship.
    • Sinus infections if I take cold drinks, water, ice cream, etc. Must be hot or lukewarm temperature
    • Funny to say even a haircut give me a headache two day later
    • Noisy breathing during sleep with my face up
    • Sensitive to cold weather, room, etc.
    • Very comfortable with high temperature weather and surrounding.
    • Avoided; any alcohol content drinks, food with chesses, ice cream, chocolate, sunny weather events,
    loud music or noise.
    • Over medicating myself with migraine headache pills.

    Let me know if you need additional information or have a follow question for me.

  • vicki Jan 21, 2017

    i have a deviated septum on the right side but i don’t have sinuses on the right side. I can’t sleep from having head aches at night from where my nose stops up.
    humidity is also a problem

  • Bill Jan 25, 2017

    Hi everyone,


    thanks for the info man. Just to compare to my case, did you have any discomfort in or around the eye of the side of the septum giving you problems (as opposed to the other one)? Like maybe sensitivity to light, swollen lower eyelid, dry eye or other? and if so, did that change after the operation?

    That’s what I’m having and don’t know if the Septum is responsible for them.

    Thanks again.

  • Patricia Johnston Jun 12, 2017

    @ Stan kimani…did Dr smith do your surgery??

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