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Headaches Associated With Nasal Obstruction Due to Deviated Nasal Septum


Dr. W.K. Low, Department of Otolaryngology, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore 0316.


A deviated nasal septum not only can cause a blocked nose, but may also be associated with headaches. This study evaluates the nature of these headaches, the effect of submucous resection of the nasal septum, and the factors associated with postoperative headache relief. Deviated nasal septa were corrected by submucous resection in 99 men and 17 women. Patients were studied at 4 to 48 months (mean 18 months) postoperatively. Fifty-five of the 116 patients studied (47.4%) had preoperative recurring headaches. Thirty-five of the 55 patients with headaches (63.6%) experienced relief (complete or partial) of their headaches at a mean follow-up period of 18 months. Patients were more likely to be relieved of their headaches following submucous resection if the headaches were most intense over the frontal region, pressure like in nature, and if the submucous resection resulted in relief of nasal obstruction. It is possible that headaches recur in the long term, and it is postulated that central mechanisms play a role.