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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Ear Nose and Throat Disorders Septal perforations

Septal perforations

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Septal perforation is a hole in the nasal septum, the tissue that separates the nostrils. It can occur as a result of previous nasal surgery or as a result of nasal fracture. It can also occur after long term use of cocaine.


The nasal septum is the structure between the nostrils that separates the nasal passages. The septum composed of cartilage and thin bone can develop a hole or perforation in the cartilage.

Septal perforations

Signs and symptoms of nasal perforations

  • Frequent crusting
  • Bleeding, epistaxis
  • Whistling sound while breathing.
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Runny nose.

Causes of nasal septal perforation

  • Previous nasal surgery
  • Cocaine use
  • Excessive nose picking
  • Trauma
  • Cancer
  • Diseases like tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, syphilis


Many perforations need not be closed. Small perforations may need only frequent rinsing with salt water or saline solutions and applying lubricating gels.

Severe surgical techniques may be used to close a larger perforation.