DNS: Deviated Nasal Septum
What is a deviated nasal septum ? A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall (nasal septum) between your left & right nasal passages is displaced to one side. In many people, the nasal septum is off-center — or deviated — making one nasal passage smaller than the other leading to reduced airflow, causing difficulty in breathing. With an acute DNS some people may suffer from nosebleeds, facial pain, noisy breathing during sleep. This condition can be from birth or as a result from an injury to the nose.
Most people with a DNS may not even know that they have a deviated septum and can go through life with little or no discomfort.
Living with DNS
I became aware of my DNS relatively early in life – at about age 12/13 when I found it hard to breathe during winter when I developed a severe cold and a resulting sinus infection. The doctors visit revealed a DNS and he suggested that I get corrective surgery. My parents thought that surgery at that age would have been too traumatic and decided to wait till I was older. Today at 52 I have still not had that surgery and lived with the DNS. I used to struggle doing any extended physical activity, sport when younger, running was a chore but most importantly it would cause frustration, anxiety and stress. I had also heard that a surgical correction was not permanent in many cases and that a DNS can occur again.
Then I came across a yogic (based on yoga) method of controlling and alleviating symptoms of a DNS : Jala Neti (Jala : is water in Sanskrit, Neti : to guide in Sanskrit) source – the Ayurveda College. Sea Salt is dissolved in pure water and then poured in through one nostril and let out of the other one.
I was very sceptical of this at first, given that there was no physical removal or correction of the DNS but I decided to give it a try. I first tried Jala Neti in 2012 and though it took me a little while to get used to it I now do it almost on a daily basis. It’s the first thing I do when I get up.
At first I found it very hard to pour water up one nostril .. the sensation was of drowning and difficulty in breathing. The process of pouring water into one nostril and letting it flow out of the other cleanses the nasal passages, sinuses and the nasal respiratory tract. Although is does not correct the DNS it alleviates the symptoms and allows me to relax, be less anxious, less stressed and more so I have been able to run 3 – 4 miles a day without experiencing terrible breathing difficulties. There are other advantages feeling refreshed, energetic and sufferers from hay-fever have found it helps them too.
I know that Jala Neti is not a cure or complete solution to a DNS but over the last 8 years it has allowed me to breathe in a more relaxed way, enjoy outdoor activities and generally kept me stress free and less anxious.
If you suffer from a DNS why not give it a try .. it may help. Diana (@di-ananda) on TherapyFriends was helpful in pointing out the right water plus salt combination and advice.