The nasal septum (nasal septum or nasal septum) is the median (central) continuous wall between the right and left nasal cavities (cavum nasi).
The cartilaginous and bony segments of the nasal septum together with the bony nasal bone (nasal bone) forming the upper portion of the nasal dorsum form the nasal skeleton (also nasal pyramid), which gives the outer nose its shape.
The nasal septum is located in the guiding groove of the paired maxilla (maxilla) and consists of a membrane segment (Pars membranacea) and a cartilaginous (Cartilago septi nasi or septal cartilage) and a bony portion together.
The bony area of the nasal septum may be subdivided into an upper segment associated with the ethmoid bone, the so-called ethmoid plate lamina, and a lower portion, the plowshade. The caudal part of the nasal septum is movable, which is why this is called the septum mobile nasi.
In addition, a fine vascular network, the so-called locus Kiesselbachi, located in the front portion of the nasal septum, located, which is responsible for the circulation of the nasal septum. In the transition between Pflugscharbein and nasal cartilage, the nasal septum is thickened, which may cause nasal breathing in particular in adults.
The nasal septum serves primarily as a medial boundary and partition wall of the nose and forms together with the lateral nasal walls and the nasal turbinates (Choncha nasalis) the paired nasal cavities and the curves of the nostrils (Nares).
Through this anatomical structure, the optimal air circulation and passage of the air flow through the nares in the nasal vestibule, then through the right and left nasal cavity and the posterior nostrils (choanae) in the pharynx (pharynx) and finally ensured in the lower respiratory tract. In addition, the nasal septum stabilizes the nasal framework or the nasal pyramid and thus prevents a collapse of the cartilaginous structures.
In addition, located on the upper turbinate and this located on the nasal septum the olfactory epithelium, which consists of receptor cells that protrude into the mucosa (mucosa) and basal pass into the nerve processes. This component of the nasal septum, which belongs to the olfactory system, is correspondingly decisively involved in the perception of odors or in the functional ability of the sense of smell.
One of the most common adverse effects of the nasal septum is the so-called septal deviation, which can be genetic, growth-related or caused by trauma to the nose.
A more pronounced deviation of the nasal septum is usually accompanied by impaired nasal breathing and an increased tendency to epistaxis (nosebleeds), sinusitis (sinusitis), tubal catarrh (inflammation of the eustachian mucosa), pharyngitis (inflammation of the pharyngeal mucosa) and tonsillitis (tonsillitis). If there is marked impairment of nasal respiration and / or severe discomfort due to septal deviation, operative straightening of asymmetric cartilaginous and bony portions (septoplasty, submucosal septal resection) may be indicated for surgical displacement of aberrant septal portions.
In some cases, a parallel operation of the external nose (Septorphinoplastik) or a renovation of the paranasal sinuses is indicated. In addition, the superficial vascular network (Locus Kiesselbachi) located in the anterior nasal septum can be injured comparatively quickly by "nasal drilling" or violent wheezing, so that epistaxis can occur here. Injuries due to fractures or foreign bodies may affect the locus Kiesselbachi. In addition, Rendu-Osler-Weber's disease (hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia) may manifest itself in the anterior region of this nasal sheath segment.
As a result of external injury, cocaine abuse (cocaine abuse), Wegener's disease, syphilis or, in rare cases, submucosal nasal resection, septal perforation (hole or tear in the nasal septum) characterized by encrustation, foetor, epstaxis and / or whistling breath sounds and can be surgically closed by a graft in case of major defects. In many cases, however, the cause of a Septumperforation can not be clarified.
A nasal bone fracture can also lead to a septal hematoma, a hemorrhage into the nasal septum, which can lead to swelling with impaired nasal breathing as well as unthreatened or, in the case of infectious courses, to a septal abscess. If the nasal septum, especially the cartilaginous portion, is levered out of its bony guide groove in the upper jaw, there is a subluxation, which can also be removed by a septal plastic.