What is the nasal septum?

In biology, the septum is any structure that separates a cavity into smaller spaces. The Latin word is also used very often, septum. In the nose, the nasal septum is what is colloquially called the nasal septum, the structure that separates the two nostrils and the two nostrils.

structure and function

The nasal septum is located in the midline of the nose with a vertical and anteroposterior disposition. It is made up of six structures of bone and hyaline cartilage:

in the posterosuperior part, the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone: in the lower back, the vomer bone quadrangular cartilage aka nasal septum cartilage medial crest of greater alar cartilage maxillary bone crest palatine bone crest

The nasal septum separates the nostrils and forms the nostrils, the two nostrils through which air is inhaled. By separating the nostrils, the septum promotes laminar flow and with it the heating and humidification of the air thanks to the hairs and mucus of the nose.

medical implications

The most frequent medical implication of the nasal septum is its deviation from the midline of the nose. It is a very common condition that is mainly due to trauma, as well as genetic causes. In most cases they are small deviations that do not cause problems, the deviation may even be imperceptible to the eye.

But when the septum is too deviated, breathing can be obstructed. Recurrent sinusitis is also common. In severe cases, the nasal septum deviation can be corrected by septoplasty, a plastic surgery intervention that is also used for aesthetic purposes.

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Another of the most frequent problems is perforation. Among the most common causes are ulcers, trauma and smelling aggressive substances. The perforation can also be treated by septoplasty with the installation of an artificial piece that fills the perforation.

Both deviation and perforation usually affect the cartilaginous part of the septum. Other less common conditions of the nasal septum include fibroids, polyps, and tumors such as squamous cell carcinoma and esthesioneuroblastoma.

The nasal septum is also voluntarily punctured for aesthetic purposes; Nasal septum piercings are very common in cultures like India, and since the late 20th century and early 21st century it is also very common in western culture.

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