A broken nose is the fracture of the bone in the nose. This is also known as nasal fracture. Nasal fracture usually involves the cartilage – the bone over the bridge of the nose. There can be swelling, pain, and bruising. Usually a broken nose does not require any surgery. Using pain killers and using ice packs can relieve the symptoms; the symptoms reduce significantly in one week. However, if there is a fracture, manual realignment of the bones or a surgery might be needed.
Symptoms of Broken Nose:
- Swelling of the nose
- Pain when touching the nose
- Signs of bruising
- Crooked nose
- Difficulty breathing
The broken nose is most commonly caused due to accidents, injuries while playing sports or falls. Initially, the nose may look out of shape due to the swelling. However, when the swelling goes down, it is easier to say if the nose is actually broken or not.
Steps to Take In Case of a Broken Nose:
- Sit down and tilt your head slightly forward. This will allow the blood to drain out of the nose
- Use ice packs on the nose to reduce the swelling. Put some ice in a cloth and apply it to the nose for 15 to 20 minutes, 2 times a day
- Take pain killers such as Tylenol or ibuprofen to reduce the pain
- Keep your head elevated to reduce the swelling
When to See a Doctor?
- If the bleeding does not stop or if you have recurring nosebleeds
- If the nose is crooked
- If you find it difficult to breathe
If the pain and swelling does not subside even after 6 days, it is better to consult a doctor
Treatment for Broken Nose:
Your doctor may check the nose for signs of fracture. He/she may also order for a CT scan.
For a minor fracture, your doctor may perform manual reduction. This non-surgical procedure includes aligning the displaced bones. Your doctor may use special gauze or splints for realignment
For multiple fracture of the bones, your doctor may take up nasal reconstructive surgery to restore the broken nose.
A broken nose, in most cases, is not that serious as the swelling and pain reduces in a period of 1 week. If the pain does not reduce or if there is persistent bleeding, do consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.