Aside from breathing difficulties, having a deviated septum can also prevent you from pursuing the things you are passionate about. Just take a look at Jai McDowall, a support worker who came into the limelight after winning the reality show Britain’s Got Talent. After winning the show in 2011, the singer continued his career by releasing his debut album Believe and performing on cruise ships.
Unfortunately, McDowall announced recently that he will be taking a short break to undergo surgery in order to correct a deviated septum, which has severely disrupted his ability to sing.
How a Bar Brawl Put McDowall’s Career On Hold
A deviated septum can occur due to a birth defect. It can also occur later in life in the form of an injury to the nose—something that could easily happen while playing sports, or by getting involved in a car accident, or in McDowall’s case, a fight.
McDowall’s deviated septum occurred after breaking up a bar fight that happened many years ago, before he even became famous. According to the singer, it was something that “bothered me on and off for years. The nose was broken when I tried to break up a fight and at times I’ve been breathing through just one nostril.”
McDowall came to a decision to finally do something about his deviated septum. “I thought everything was fine but in the last six months my nose has been getting blocked up all the time and I’ve been waking up with a sore throat. It’s been making it hard to sing and I’ve suffered from anxiety about not being able to sing before performances.”
When Medications Are Not Enough
There are many ways that one can treat a deviated septum. Decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal steroid sprays all help treat the symptoms. Unfortunately, that is all they do: treat.
They don’t address the root cause of the problem, which is a dislocated septum wall that causes one nasal cavity to become smaller than the other. This can only be corrected through surgery.
Septoplasty: What You Need to Know
The good news is that a deviated septum can be easily corrected through a surgery called septoplasy, something I have done many times on outpatients here at the Los Angeles Sinus Institute.
During septoplasty, an incision is made in the septum wall. The process may also require removing excess cartilage in order to straighten out the nose. The procedure is minimally invasive and may take 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the severity of the case. Most patients can head home right after the procedure is done. Prep time is shorter and healing time is faster.
If, just like McDowall, your nasal symptoms are preventing you from pursuing the activities you normally enjoy doing, then now is the best time to see a Los Angeles sinus doctor to explore your options.
You can check out McDowall’s audition at Britain’s Got Talent from seven years ago right here.