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Nasal septum

Nasal septum

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Encyclopedia
The nasal septum separates the left and right airways in the nose
Human nose
The visible part of the human nose is the protruding part of the face that bears the nostrils. The shape of the nose is determined by the ethmoid bone and the nasal septum, which consists mostly of cartilage and which separates the nostrils...

, dividing the two nostril
Nostril
A nostril is one of the two channels of the nose, from the point where they bifurcate to the external opening. In birds and mammals, they contain branched bones or cartilages called turbinates, whose function is to warm air on inhalation and remove moisture on exhalation...

s.

It is depressed
Depression (kinesiology)
Depression, in kinesiology, is the anatomical term of motion for movement in an inferior direction.It is the opposite of elevation.This term is often applied to the shoulders Depression, in kinesiology, is the anatomical term of motion for movement in an inferior direction.It is the opposite of...

 by the Depressor septi nasi muscle
Depressor septi nasi muscle
The depressor septi arises from the incisive fossa of the maxilla.Its fibers ascend to be inserted into the nasal septum and back part of the alar part of nasalis muscle....

.

Composition


The fleshy external end of the nasal septum is sometimes also called columella.

The nasal septum is composed of five structures:
  • perpendicular plate of ethmoid bone
    Perpendicular plate of ethmoid bone
    The perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone is a thin, flattened lamina, polygonal in form, which descends from the under surface of the cribriform plate, and assists in forming the septum of the nose; it is generally deflected a little to one or other side...

  • vomer bone
  • cartilage of the septum
    Cartilage of the septum
    The cartilage of the septum is somewhat quadrilateral in form, thicker at its margins than at its center, and completes the separation between the nasal cavities in front....

  • crest of the maxillary bone
  • crest of the palatine bone

Clinical significance


The nasal septum can depart from the centre line of the nose in a condition is known as a deviated septum
Deviated septum
Nasal septum deviation is a common physical disorder of the nose, involving a displacement of the nasal septum.-Causes:It is most frequently caused by impact trauma, such as by a blow to the face. It can also be a congenital disorder, caused by compression of the nose during childbirth...

 due to trauma. However, it is normal to have a slight deviation to one side. The septum generally stays in the midline until about the age of 7, at which point it will frequently deviate to the right.

A perforated nasal septum can be caused by an ulcer, trauma due to an inserted object, excessive nose-picking
Nose-picking
Nose-picking is the act of extracting dried nasal mucus or foreign bodies from the nose with a finger. Despite being a very common habit, it is a mildly taboo activity in most cultures, and the observation of the activity in another person may provoke mixed feelings of disgust and amusement...

, long-term exposure to welding fumes, or cocaine abuse. There is a procedure that can be of help to those suffering from perforated septum. A silicone button can be inserted in the hole to close the open sore. An operation
Surgery
Surgery is an ancient medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, or to help improve bodily function or appearance.An act of performing surgery may be called a surgical...

 to the nasal septum is known as a septoplasty
Septoplasty
Septoplasty is a corrective surgical procedure done fix to straighten the nasal septum, the partition between the two nasal cavities. Ideally, the septum should run down the center of the nose. When it deviates into one of the cavities, it narrows that cavity and impedes airflow. Often the...

.

The nasal septum can be affected by both benign (fibroma
Fibroma
Fibromas are benign tumors that are composed of fibrous or connective tissue. They can grow in all organs, arising from mesenchyme tissue. The term "fibroblastic" or "fibromatous" is used to describe tumors of the fibrous connective tissue...

, inflammatory hemangioma of the nasal septum - "bleeding polyp" etc.) and malign tumors (squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma , occasionally rendered as "squamous-cell carcinoma", is a histologically distinct form of cancer. It arises from the uncontrolled multiplication of malignant cells deriving from epithelium, or showing particular cytological or tissue architectural characteristics of...

, esthesioneuroblastoma
Esthesioneuroblastoma
Esthesioneuroblastoma is a rare form of cancer involving nasal cavity and believed to arise from the olfactory epithelium. It can cause loss of vision, sight and taste....

 etc.)

Cosmetic procedures


The inferior part of the nasal septum can be pierced, usually through the soft tissue but the piercing can also transverse (partially) the cartilage of the septum
Cartilage of the septum
The cartilage of the septum is somewhat quadrilateral in form, thicker at its margins than at its center, and completes the separation between the nasal cavities in front....

.