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First Aid & Emergencies

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Broken Nose Treatment

1. When to See a Health Care Provider

Go to a hospital emergency room or see a health care provider immediately if:

  • You cannot stop the nose from bleeding.
  • The nostril or nasal septum is crooked or out of place.
  • The person has clear drainage from one or both nostrils or a grapelike swelling inside the nose on the septum.

2. Treat Symptoms

  • Apply ice for pain and swelling.
  • Have the person rest and keep the head elevated even when sleeping.
  • The person should avoid blowing his or her nose.

3. Follow Up

  • If the nose is not out of position, rest and home treatment may be all that's needed.
  • If the nose is crooked or it is difficult for the person to breathe through the nose, see a health care provider.

If you see a health care provider, the next steps depend on the particular case:

  • To stop bleeding, the health care provider may pack the nostrils with gauze.
  • For a simple fracture, the health care provider may straighten the nose.
  • Surgery may be needed to move bone or cartilage back in place for a more complicated fracture.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on November 22, 2013

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