The nose has two bones at the bridge and a long piece of cartilage that gives it its shape. When you experience a nasal fracture, it means the bony part of the nose has been broken. Usually, the bridge of the nose is pushed to one side, and sometimes the cartilage is pushed to the side as well. Below we cover everything you need to know about a broken nose.
Signs of a Broken Nose
The signs and symptoms of a broken nose include:
- Swelling around the bridge of the nose
- A crooked shape
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Bruising around one or both eyes
What to Expect at the Doctor’s Office
When you arrive at the hospital or doctor’s office, your provider will order an x-ray to confirm whether the nose is fractured. They may also order a CT scan to identify or rule out a more serious injury.
If you have a nosebleed that won’t stop, the doctor will insert a soft gauze pad to stop the bleeding. After a nasal fracture, it’s common to experience a nasal septal hematoma, which is a collection of blood within the septum of the nose. If this is the case, your provider may need to drain it.
If you have an open fracture, meaning there is a cut in the skin as well as broken nasal bones, your doctor may give you stitches and antibiotics.
If surgery is necessary, you may need to wait seven to 14 days to wait for swelling to go down so a complete assessment can be made. You may be referred to a specialist for this procedure.
How to Care for Yourself at Home
To manage pain and swelling, you can:
- You should avoid any activity that puts you at risk of bumping your nose, like playing football at Dilworth Park.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication as directed, and only after bleeding has stopped for at least 24 hours.
- Keep your head elevated to reduce swelling and improve breathing.
- Ice your nose for 20 minutes every one to two hours. Be sure you don’t apply ice directly to the skin.
For more information about nasal fractures or to schedule an appointment with a nose expert, call Pinnacle ENT today.