What Are Nasal Deformities?

A nasal deformity is an abnormality in the structure and appearance of the nose that results in difficulty breathing, impaired sense of smell and other concerns.

Patients with a nasal deformity may also be prone to snoring and noisy breathing, nosebleeds, dry mouth, chronic sinusitis (inflammation of the sinus passages) and sinus infections. Oftentimes, these issues are accompanied by displeasure with the shape and appearance of the nose.

There are several types of nasal deformities, including:

  • Congenital (present at birth) deformities: These include cleft palate, nasal mass or weakness in the structure of the nose.
  • Enlarged adenoids: Adenoids are lymph glands found at the back of the nose. When they become enlarged, they can block the airway and cause sleep apnea.
  • Enlarged turbinates: There are three turbinates, or baffles, on the side of each nostril that clean and humidify the air before it goes to your lungs. Swollen turbinates can interfere with breathing through the nose.
  • Deviated septum: This is when the wall of cartilage between your nasal passages is malformed or bent to one side. A deviated septum can be congenital or caused by trauma.
  • Saddle nose: Sometimes known as a boxer’s nose, the saddle nose has an extremely flat or concave bridge. It is associated with trauma, cocaine abuse or certain diseases.
  • Aging nose: The aging process can cause drooping that leads to obstruction, as the sides of the nose collapse inward.