Like the rest of the body, an accident or injury can cause a fracture in the nose, which is called a fracture of the nasal bone. Often, nasal fractures involve the bone situated above the nose. Let us know the symptoms and treatment of a fracture in the nose in this article.
WHAT DOES A NASAL FRACTURE MEAN?
A nasal fracture means a crack or break in the cartilage connecting the nasal bone. A fracture in the nose can be caused by sports, fighting, a fall, or a car accident. When the nose is broken, there is swelling under the nose, eyes as well as pain. Your nose becomes crooked and you may have trouble breathing. Surgery is not always needed to treat a fracture in the nose.
SYMPTOMS OF NASAL FRACTURE
The symptoms when you have a fracture in your nose are as follows :
- Pain and tenderness when touching the nose
- Swelling of the nose and surrounding area
- Bleeding nose
- Bruising near the nose and eyes
- Crooked nose
- Difficulty breathing
- Nasal discharge
- Feeling like there is a blockage in one or both nasal tubes
- ‘Cracking’ sound on touching the nose
In case of a nose injury or a fracture in the nose, your first priority should be to stop the bleeding from the nose and reduce the swelling.
WHEN TO GO TO THE DOCTOR FOR A BROKEN NOSE?
You need emergency medical care if:
- Breathing problem
- Severe head injury
- Severe headache due to a neck injury
- Neck pain
- A change in the shape of the nose that is not due to swelling, such as a crooked nose
- Nose bleeding
- Constant watery discharge from the nose
NASAL FRACTURE DIAGNOSIS
After examining your symptoms of a nose fracture, the doctor will ask you how you got hurt and whether you’ve had a broken nose or serious injury before, have you ever had nose surgery, etc? This means he will take your detailed medical history.
After this, the doctor examines your nose, in which the shape of the nose, the condition of the bones, tenderness, and deformity of the damaged part, the nasal screen test is done and examined. With the help of light and an instrument, the doctor examines the inside of your nose and checks if there are any blood clots, bruises, etc. In most cases, no further tests are needed for diagnosis. X-rays are not always necessary.
If a fracture in the nose causes a deformity of the nose, obstruction of air passage, or symptoms that require a specialist, your doctor may refer you to an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat specialist) or plastic surgeon. Specialist doctors do some tests before treatment.
NASAL FRACTURE TREATMENT
Self-care for nose fracture
If the fracture in the nose is minor and not causing any other problems, then usually the fracture of the nose can be treated at home. But, if the deformity in the nose has changed its shape, then do not treat it at home. This treatment can be done at home under common conditions such as:
- When there is blood coming from the nose, lean forward so that the blood will not go into the throat.
- Apply ice pack on the injured area for 15-20 minutes, do this several times a day.
- Pain killers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be prescribed medically to reduce pain and swelling.
- If there is a small wound, clean it and make a dressing.
- Keep your head elevated while sleeping to reduce swelling.
- Avoid raising the nose.
- See a doctor for treatment of a large wound or cut on the face or nose. It is corrected with stitches and medical dressings.
- If the pain and swelling are severe, the doctor will prescribe more powerful painkillers.
When the shape deteriorates due to a crooked nose or a fracture of the nose, the doctor manually restores the bones to their previous position. By this process, the nose comes to the previous position and there is no problem in breathing. During manual realignment, the doctor conducts the following procedure-
- Injects anesthetic nasal spray or injection to numb the fractured part of the nose
- Reinforces broken bones and damaged cartilage with the help of a speculum and other equipment.
- The nose is packed with a dressing so that the bones and cartilage are set back to their previous position.
- Antibiotics may be given to prevent infection
- In case, it has been 2 weeks or more since the fracture in the nose, manual realignment cannot be done. In this situation, the option of surgery remains to fix the nose.
In case of a fracture in the nose, the doctor recommends surgery if:
- Situation is serious
- Multiple broken bones in the nose
- Damage to the nasal septum or trouble breathing
- A deformed nose bone and a crooked nose cannot be corrected with manual realignment.
The best way to treat your nose injury is to visit a specialist and get your nose checked. The specialist will be able to assess the best way to treat your nose injury.
For any information related to the nose injury, visit our Specialty Care Clinics -if you have any type of nose injury or problem
Our team of experienced doctors will advise you on the best option for your safety.