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Definition of Nasal septum perforation

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Nasal septum perforation: A hole in the nasal septum, the wall inside the nose that runs down the middle dividing it into two sides. The hole provides a direct communication between the two normally-separate sides of the nose.

Perforation of the nasal septum can be due to trauma (such as a blow to the nose, picking the nose, etc), drug abuse (as, for example, cocaine), an abscess, or certain diseases (for example, Wegner granulomatosis).

The signs and symptoms of nasal septum perforation include crusting within the nose, bleeding and discharge from the nose and, most dramatically, whistling on inspiration (caused by air whistling through the perforation).

Treatment is by surgical closure of the perforation (a procedure that frequently fails) or by the insertion of a specially designed septal button in the hole.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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