Whether it’s being hit in the nose by a soccer ball or slamming face-first into a door, most people get struck in the nose at some point. The first thing that usually comes to mind is how painful it is, and the second thing is “Is it broken?” If you’ve recently experienced facial trauma, here are some broken nose symptoms to look for as well as answers for how to fix a broken nose.
Broken Nose Symptoms
Although a bloody nose often happens after a nasal injury, it doesn’t always indicate the nose is broken. You’ll also want to look for these signs to tell if the bony portion of the nose is cracked or fractured:
• Swelling across the bridge of the nose
• Dark bruises around the eyes
• Deformity or crooked nose
• Tenderness and pain when touching the nose
• Pain while breathing out of the nostrils
• Crackling sound when touching the nose
Diagnosis and Treatment of a Broken Nose
We recommend that you head straight to the emergency room if you experience symptoms such as:
• Bleeding from the nose that doesn’t stop after a few minutes
• Clear fluid drainage from the nose
• Other facial injuries
• High fever
• Change in vision or balance
• Severe headache
• Neck pain
• Numbness in the extremities
Unless there is an obvious deformity, many fractures and cracks will heal on their own. Broken nose treatments at home usually involve methods to stop bleeding and relieve pain and swelling such as:
• Ice on and off for 15 minutes at a time
• Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen
• Nasal decongestants to help with breathing problems
• Elevating the head while sleeping to avoid increased swelling
If the pain or swelling doesn’t go away after a few days, your nose looks crooked, or nasal breathing is reduced, then you should see one of our otolaryngologists, a doctor who specializes in conditions of the head and neck. If you’re seen within one or two weeks after your injury, then it may be possible to repair your nose immediately.
Our doctors will use special instruments to examine the inside and outside of the nose and can usually tell if the nose is broken without taking an X-ray. If you have displaced bones in your nose, the doctor may try to realign the bone pieces and hold them in place with a cast that will stay in place for a week.
If you wait longer than two weeks, it’s more likely that it will be months before you can have your nose fixed surgically.
Surgical Broken Nose Treatments
Some displaced fractures can only be treated during surgery by our ENT physicians. Because swelling after a break makes surgery difficult, your surgeon will want to wait for the swelling to subside. He or she will talk to you about the best surgical methods available to allow you to be happy with your appearance and to breathe well again. Most surgical broken nose treatments are performed under general anesthesia.
Sound Health Physicians Offer Broken Nose Treatment in St. Louis
Our knowledgeable staff of otolaryngologists help patients seeking the best solutions after a nose break. If you’ve recently experienced facial trauma that left you with a broken nose, call our office at (314) 332-1377 in MO or (618) 235-3687 in IL.