Confessions of a Snore Partner
My husband's nose has always been crooked.
Well, I guess not always, but certainly for as long as I've known him. It's just a normal feature everyone is used to.
Instead of sitting straight in the middle of his face, it juts out over his left cheek. An injury you'd expect to see on a rugby player or professional fighter.
The crookedness is even more pronounced when we stand in front of a mirror together and I see what he sees, his face inverted. I always tell him his nose is 'crooked the wrong way.'
He's always blamed it on wrestling and roughhousing with his big brother and older cousins. Growing up in the 80s with no technology for entertainment, I never really questioned its origin.
As we get older, and he creeps up on 40, his snoring continues to worsen.
Although it's inconsistent, it's enough to keep me up at night - both literally and figuratively. Not only does his mouth-breathing chorus keep me awake, but the frequent gasps and choking are worrisome, as well.
It got me thinking: how related are his snoring and his history of broken noses? I mean, the snoring comes from the throat, doesn't it?
Well, it turns out it's more connected than thought.
What he likely has is a deviated septum - a term I've heard of course and often use but never really understood what it really meant.
A deviated septum is when the center cartilage that separates the nostrils becomes misaligned or uneven. It's something you can be born with or often occurs as a result of an injury.
For most people with a deviated septum, it becomes a part of life that they just get used too, along with the side effects. Nosebleeds, chronic sinus infections, difficulty breathing, and yes, loud snoring.
Can a deviated septum cause sleep apnea?
I found that while it can contribute to the effects of sleep apnea, it doesn't actually cause it. Likely, the person with both sleep apnea and a deviated septum already has an obstructed airway. The broken nose further exacerbates the restricted air flow.
I also learned an estimated 80% of people have a misaligned nose, with one nasal cavity smaller than the other. This surprised me because I seldom see folks with a nose bent nearly as much as my hubby's.
Furthermore, I discovered that ADVENT's very own founder, Dr. Madan Kandula, suffered from several broken noses as a kid that resulted in a severely deviated septum. It was his own journey from
this experience to medical school that led him to open his own ENT practice.
While a deviated septum is corrected with surgery, most ADVENT patients meet successful outcomes with the in-office procedures performed by Dr. Kandula and his colleagues.
I don't mind my husband's crooked face - I did marry the guy after all, I think it's pretty cute actually. It would be much easier to persuade him to get his airways fixed if he knew a surgery-less option was on the table.
If we could get him breathing and sleep better with little to no downtime....with easy at-home aftercare and thoroughly lined up follow-up visits…yeah, I would be fine with his nose staying right where it is, no matter how wonky.