Is it possible to have perforated septum head pain? Is a perforated septum actually causing your headaches – and should you be looking into surgical solutions?We’ve talked before about a deviated septum (see Is a Deviated Septum giving you a headache?). But what about a perforation?
Your nasal septum is, of course, that bit of cartilage between the right and left parts of your nose. And it’s not just there to make you look beautiful or hold up your nose. Your nasal septum helps the air flow properly from the tip of your nose to the back, where it gets carried to the lungs. A well functioning septum helps your nose stay clear and keeps air moving where it should.
However, some people do develop holes in the septum. They might not even notice, depending on the size and location of the perforation.
This hole might be caused by complications from surgery, cocaine use, certain diseases, or even excessive nose picking (more common than you think!).
(Yes, there can also be a direct perforation caused by a nasal septum piercing for a nose ring. I’m not getting into that – daith piercings was enough for one month – but do your research about the risks, and proper care after piercing. A small nasal septum piercing may close entirely on its own eventually.)
Again, there may be no symptoms at all, or they may be minor ones. Commonly examples of symptoms – nose bleeds, crusting, and nasal obstruction (including a “stuffy nose”).
You also may experience pain in your nose.
Although it may not be common to get headache directly from a perforated septum, obstruction and pain in your nose would likely trigger a headache attack.
So yes, it’s probably entirely possible to have perforated septum head pain. But that doesn’t mean that the perforated septum is the only trigger – it may be a combination of factors that triggers your headache or migraine attack.
If you are experiencing significant symptoms from a perforated septum, you are entirely justified in connecting that with your head pain. So yes, it is worth talking to your doctor about possible solutions.
Your doctor may recommend you simply try regular rinsing with salt water, and applying lubricating gels. This may be enough to ease the problem.
Surgery is an option, but not an easy one. There is a high rate of failure in this type of surgery, and the larger the perforation the harder it is to close.
You are wise to do your research, and find a doctor who has experience in this type of surgery – and who will be honest with you about the possible outcomes.
For more information:
- Very in-depth discussion: Surgical treatment of nasal septal perforations. Our experience
- Nasal Septal Perforation Directory (WebMD)
- Septal Perforation– Treatment of Complications