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.
Symptoms of a broken nose
Possible complications of a broken nose include:
A broken nose is
diagnosed through a physical examination and medical history. An X-ray of the
nose is not usually needed or helpful if only a broken nose is suspected. 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.
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
Immediate treatment is
needed for some injuries that occur with a broken nose, such as:
Treatment, if needed, usually is done within 7 to 14 days
of breaking your nose. Most broken noses do not require treatment other than
controlling pain and other symptoms.
March 18, 2013
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& David Messenger, MD
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