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Conditions

Nasal Septal Perforation

Nasal septal perforation (Photo from Wellcome Trust)

When former Eastenders actress, Daniella Westbrook, was photographed at the British Soap Awards in 2000 with her septum eroded from excessive coke-snorting, she not only became the poster girl for the ravages of cocaine, but also brought nasal septal perforation into the limelight. The septum, composed of cartilage and thin bone, can develop a hole in the cartilage, not only through cocaine use, but also as a complication of previous nasal surgery, excessive nose picking, trauma, cancer, or diseases such as tuberculosis or syphilis. As damage reduces blood supply in the septum, the cartilage begins to die, and a hole develops. Many septal perforations don’t need to be closed, and small perforations may need only frequent rinsing with prescription saltwater solutions and applying lubricating gels. Septal ‘buttons’ can also be inserted to fit the hole, which can be an alternative to surgery. However, there are various surgical techniques available for larger perforations, which can be performed under general anesthesia.

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Does anyone know what surgeons in USA do surgical repairs? I am desparate.





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I was having multiple bloody nose due to stress. I went to the ENT and he cauterized the area on my septum. He burned a small hole through the soft tissue! After a couple months it the area rotten away. A different ENT did surgery, took tissue from either nostril and tried to close the hole,it rotted out! I have severe migraines now from the surgery and constant sinus infections. It's difficult to breathe at times, and this past winter I started having bloody noses again. So frustrating!





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Oh you poor thing! I had very bad bleeding nose...blew and blew til I realized I had blown a good size hole in my septum. Its not sore and although I still get blocked sinuses I'm not too worried about it...just doing a sinus rinse most days, keeping a medicated ointment on it and taking a sinus tab each day....by all accounts people who have had buttons and surgery aren't too happy with them

Wow...so pleased I found this. I have a septum hole, quite big. Waiting to see ent specialist...my Dr wasn't too worried, I meanwhile am terrified! No pain and it is due to very bad sinuses for year and constant blowing nose





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I've never seen or heard of anyone having the same problem I have, a hole in their septum, from nose picking. I'm too embarrassed to seek help or talk to anyone about it. I'm shaking even as I share now. Thank you for this forum.

Anne see your Dr...I know they've seen worse things so don't be embarrassed...isn't this a wonderful support site...so pleased I found it!

I have no cartilage left full preforated septum but Every about three days I blow a massive chunk out the size and shape of what my septum used to be. About the size of three toonies. Which is the same size of hollow cavity in there. Hurts like crazy and crazy pressure on my eyeballs all day long. Relives amazingly when chunk blown out. Like As if i blew half my brain out. Feels like thers so much space After Have to use three cotton swabs to push out one side and pull out other side and is like the size of my cheek. Any way to make these MAsSIVE chunks stop ? Sinus and eyeball pressure hurts.





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I have a small what feels like a hole at the tip of my nose but under the lining. I'm sure it wasn't there before, but has been since I had a bad cold and my nose felt really bruised on the end then got an infection in the skin (outside) which has now gone. The hole was there after the bruising feeling but before the infection. Could this be a perforated septum forming? I can't find anything that answers it anywhere!





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Is there any advice on lack of taste or smell due to perforation of septum. I have,so far,not had any surgical intervention. It appears the condition may be due to very long time rhinitis condition.





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I have a hole in my septum just under the size of my baby finger. The hole was caused by nose picking. I whent to a ENT and they took a sample of the area during a biopsy. I have heared no more since. It keeps crusting but i find it hard to stop picking at it. I was never offered a septum button and interested if there are any other solutions to heal it such as creams if not how can i get a button and are they effective. Thank you





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If you haven't heard back I gather that's a good thing and they aren't worried about it...I use a medicated ointment called Rawleighs..which is fabulous

Hi I was diagnosed with eosinophillis fasciitis and vasculitis, and now due to inflammed blood vessels I have a hole in the cartilage of my nose. I have never done any drugs. The hole was found approx 3 weeks ago and is now about 8 cm. ANd seem to be getting larger daily. I am on chemo and a high dose of prednisone for my condition. Has anyone experienced anything like this. Because I am on chemo the doctor is telling me there is nothing we can do at this time.





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Just a FYI for people here... I broke my nose in '96 resulting in a deviated septum. I had surgery to correct that in '97. Ever since then, I have had this hole in my nose. I honestly didn't think much of it for years. I had the usual crusting, dryness but nothing drastic. Anyways, I just now have learned what it is and how it came about through reading. I want to get mine looked at by an ENT or specialist. I don't know if it is growing, it always seemed to be about the same size. Anyways, I just wanted to say that I have had this hole for 16 years and nothing has happened to the outside shape of my nose. The hole I tried to measure tonight, it less than a Q-Tip head wide. So I think around 7mm or so, maybe 8mm. I am looking for someone in the area here who is well versed in treating this. Even if I can have it properly measured and then monitored every 6 months or so. I have read conflicting info online, lots saying if less than 1cm to leave alone and others saying if less than 1cm to repair to prevent it from getting worse. I have also read that there is no structural damage to the nose itself if the hole is less than 1cm but also depends on location et. I also read that buttons can make the hole bigger by eroding the edges of the hole. There is so much conflicting info it is very confusing. Since I have left mine for 16 years I may just leave it alone but I at least would like an ENT to look at it and let me know if there is any structural damage or if it has weakened the nose. I also fear the collapse but I think this is very rare.





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Hi thanks for taking the time to write this as it is very useful info. I have had mine since July and edges have healed and no problems with it anymore. Slightly bigger though I think mine is about 10mm. But as you say a lot of conflicting info about this condition. I compete a lot in martial arts aswell so don't think I will get a button or a repair until Atleast I retire from sport! As for your case if you have had no bother for 16 years I would be tempted to leave it as it is and maybe just get it measured annually for peace of mind

Your post has made me feel better...I have a medium hole thru my septum. No pain and only noticed it a few weeks ago, have apt wit ent but not for a few months, unfortunately severe anxiety has set in, so am in tears most of the time, thank god I have a marvellous husband

my spectum has complety dissapeard so ive just got 2 nostrils in one is there any need to worry its a bit painfull but i use a cream on it to stop the crusting





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Hi, could you tell me what cream you put on it? I have the same problem thanks

Hi Julie...not sure where you live. I'm in nz and use a medicated ointment called Rawleighs, brilliant





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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