How do I get a broken nose?
You can break your
nose during play, sports, accidents, fights, and falls. But it may be hard to
tell if your nose is broken. Swelling can make your nose look crooked even if
it is not broken. When the swelling goes down after a few days, it is easier to
tell if your nose is really crooked and possibly broken.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of a broken nose
- Nose pain.
- Swelling of the
- A crooked or bent appearance.
- Bruising around the
nose or eyes.
- A runny nose or a nosebleed.
- A grating
sound or feeling when the nose is touched or rubbed.
- Blocked nasal
Possible complications of a broken nose include:
- Change in the appearance of the nose or the tip of the
- A large amount of blood in the nasal septum (nasal septal
- A hole in the nasal septum (septal perforation)
or causing the bridge of the nose to collapse (saddle
- Crooked (deviated) nasal septum. The nasal septum
is the structure that divides the nose into two parts. See a picture of a
deviated nasal septum .
- Permanent breathing
- Persistent drainage from one or both nostrils. This may
be caused by cerebrospinal fluid draining from the brain into the nose (CSF
rhinorrhea) and can occur after a head injury or after surgery on the nose or
- Infection of the nose, sinuses, or facial
- A change in or loss of sense of smell.
How is a broken nose diagnosed?
A broken nose is
diagnosed through a physical exam and medical history. An X-ray of the
nose may be done. If
other facial injuries or fractures are suspected, a
CT scan will be done. Your doctor may wish to delay
evaluation until the swelling has gone down. This may take several days.
How is it treated?
Immediately after the fracture,
apply ice and keep your head elevated. You may need pain medicine, such as
acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not take
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as
ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or aspirin, for 48 hours after a nose injury.
Do not take aspirin if you are younger than 20 because
of the risk of