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    Broken Nose

    Broken Nose Overview

    A broken nose is any crack or fracture in the bony portion of the nose.

    Broken Nose Causes

    Causes of a broken nose are related to trauma to the nose or face. Common sources of trauma include the following:

    Broken Nose Symptoms

    Signs that suggest a person has a broken nose may include the following:

    • Tenderness when touching the nose
    • Swelling of the nose or face
    • Bruising of the nose or under the eyes (black eye)
    • Deformity of the nose (crooked nose)
    • Nosebleed
    • When touching the nose, a crunching or crackling sound or sensation like that of rubbing hair between 2 fingers
    • Pain and difficulty breathing out of the nostrils

    When to Seek Medical Care

    Call the doctor for any of the following:

    • You think you might have a broken nose.
    • The pain or swelling does not go away in 3 days.
    • The nose looks crooked.
    • You feel dizzy or light-headed.
    • Breathing through the nose is not possible after the swelling has gone down.
    • Fever develops.
    • Recurring nosebleeds develop.
    • Significant injury that requires medical attention possibly exists.

    Go to a hospital’s emergency department immediately if any of the following signs or symptoms are present:

    • Bleeding for more than a few minutes from one or both of the nostrils
    • Clear fluid draining from the nose
    • Other injuries to the face or the body
    • Loss of consciousness (fainting)
    • Severe or unrelenting headaches
    • Repeat vomiting
    • Decrease or change in vision
    • Neck pain
    • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms
    • Significant injury that may require immediate medical attention

    Exams and Tests

    In the emergency department, a doctor will examine the head and neck.

    • The doctor will inspect the outside and the inside of the nose, often using special instruments.
    • Depending on the injuries, the doctor may perform a thorough exam.
    • Doctors usually do not recommend X-ray films of the face or nose unless they suspect the results might alter the course of treatment.

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