If you have taken a blow to the nose and it became swelling and bleeding, this can be a sign of nasal fraction. Don’t worry, you are not the only person who experience this injury. The nasal fraction is the most common face injury. It can occur due to car or motorbike accident, sport activities like soccer or physical argument, falling down or even encounter by door or wall. If you are not assuring whether your nose is broken or not, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible
The broken nose symptoms including:
- Feel pain, especially when you touch your nose
- Nose swelling
- Nose bleeding
- Bruises around nose and beneath your eyes
- Cracked nose
- Nasal mucus
- Blocked nostril
What to do if you think you have a broken nose?
Until you can see a doctor, try to stop bleeding and reduce the pain and swelling.
Stop the bleeding
- Sit up straight, don’t lay down and lean back. Your nose should place higher than heart.
- Keep your head front to prevent running blood to your throat
- Hold the soft part of your nose with your thumb and forefinger. Hold it tightly for about 5 minutes.
- If the bleeding doesn’t stop, pinch it again around 10 minutes by your finger.
- Take over-the-counter pain killer, like acetaminophen, ibuprofen
- Put extra pillows under your head while sleeping
- Put some piece of ice into a plastic pack and warp it by a towel. Hold it for 10 minutes on your nose. Repeat it.
- Don’t put pressure on the towel because it may harm your nose.
- During two days following the injury, put ice on your nose at least four times.
If you have the following problems, you should get the emergency help.
- Any damage to the head or neck that is associated with sever headache, neck pain, vomiting or passing out
- Hard berating
- The continuous bleeding
- Draining clear watery fluid from nose
The risk factors
Any activity that increase the risk of facial injury, can develop the risk of nasal fracture. These activities include:
- Exercise activity such as football or hockey
- Physical argument
- Weight lifting
- Driving without the safety belt
Broken nose complications
- Deviated septum: The broken nose may lead to the deviated nasal septum. When the thin tissue layer between the nostril is deviated, the nasal deviation is occurred that causes nasal congestion of one or both nostrils. The antihistamine and decongestants medicines can help to control the complications but, the surgical procedure should be applied for the permanent correction.
- Septal hematoma: Sometimes blood clots are collected within the broken nose and make a condition called septal hematoma or nasal septum abscess. The nasal hematoma can lead to trouble breathing. The blood clots should be drained by the surgery.
- Neck injury: Nasal fractures that occurred by accident (such as car accident) are associated with neck injury. If your nose is broken due to the severe damage, your neck bone may be damaged, too. If you are not sure about your neck injury, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Do you need Radiography or Ct scan to evaluate a broken nose?
In some cases, the doctor may ask the patient to provide radiography or Ct scan for the further assess. Although there is no need to radiology picture for all nasal trauma. Sometimes a Ct scan is required for discovering the other facial injury that are difficult to diagnose by the physical checkup alone.
The following Ct scan picture show the broken nose of a patient who suffered a nasal injury just a few hours before taking photo. The right nasal bone is broken but it is not displaced but the left nasal bone is fractured and deviated. You can also see in the picture that the skin on the left side of the nose seems thicker because of the temporary swelling.
Do all broken nose need surgery?
If your facial plastic surgeon distinguish that you have a nasal fracture, the displacement of the broken bone should be considered as the next step. The broken bone may maintain its normal position. In this condition there is no need to the surgery and you should leave your bone to fix on its own. Although your surgeon may place external cast on the nose in order to protect it during the recovery period.
The broken nose treatment
If your doctor distinguish that your nose is broken, he should wait until your nose swelling to subside and then decide for the correction. The treatment technique includes the surgical and non-surgical methods that your doctor will choose the best method based on your damage.
The manual or non-surgical method
If your doctor distinguishes that your nose can be fixed without surgery, the treatment should be applied after one to two weeks after the accident. If it takes longer, the damage begins to improve on its own that may cause to fix the bone out of place. Your doctor will put some packing in your nose and will bandage the outside of your nose. This method can help your nose to fix in place during the treatment period. You may need to use some anti-biotic to prevent infection.
If the nasal fracture is severe or left untreated more than two weeks after the accident, probably your doctor will choose the surgery option. The goal of this surgery is to put back the nose bone to it’s ideal position as well as reshape the nose, if needed.
Most probably, you don’t need to over stay in hospital and can go back home after the surgery. But you should stay at home around one week to subside the swelling and bruising.