Disease: Broken nose


    A broken nose, also called a nasal fracture, is a break or crack in a bone in your nose — often the bone over the bridge of your nose.

    Common causes of a broken nose include contact sports, physical fights, falls and motor vehicle accidents that result in facial trauma. A broken nose can cause pain, along with swelling and bruising around your nose and under your eyes. Your nose may look crooked, and you may have trouble breathing.

    Treatment for a broken nose may include procedures that realign your nose. Surgery usually isn't necessary for a broken nose.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com


    Signs and symptoms of a broken nose:

    • Pain or tenderness, especially when touching your nose
    • Swelling of your nose and surrounding areas
    • Bleeding from your nose
    • Bruising around your nose or eyes
    • Crooked or misshapen nose
    • Difficulty breathing through your nose
    • Discharge of mucus from your nose
    • Feeling that one or both of your nasal passages are blocked

    When to see a doctor

    Seek emergency medical attention if you experience a nose injury accompanied by:

    • A head or neck injury, which may be marked by severe headache, neck pain, vomiting or loss of consciousness
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Bleeding you can't stop
    • A noticeable change in the shape of your nose that isn't related to swelling, such as a crooked or twisted appearance
    • Clear, watery fluid draining from your nose

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com


    Common causes of a broken nose include:

    • Injury from contact sports, such as football or hockey
    • Physical altercations
    • Motor vehicle accidents
    • Falls

    A broken nose can even be caused by walking into a fixed object, such as a door or wall, or by rough, wrestling-type play.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com


    Your doctor may press gently on the outside of your nose and its surrounding areas. He or she may look inside your nasal passage to check for obstruction and further signs of broken bones. Your doctor may use anesthetics — either a nasal spray or local injections — to make you more comfortable during the exam.

    X-rays and other imaging studies are usually unnecessary. However, your doctor may recommend a computerized tomography (CT) scan if the severity of your injuries makes a thorough physical exam impossible or if your doctor suspects you may have other injuries.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com


    Complications or injuries related to a broken nose may include:

    • Deviated septum. A nose fracture may cause a deviated septum, a condition that occurs when the thin wall dividing the two sides of your nose (nasal septum) is displaced, narrowing your nasal passage. Medications, such as decongestants and antihistamines, can help you manage a deviated septum, but surgery is required to correct the condition.
    • Collection of blood. Sometimes, pools of clotted blood form in a broken nose, creating a condition called a septal hematoma. A septal hematoma can block one or both nostrils. Septal hematoma requires prompt surgical drainage to prevent cartilage damage.
    • Cartilage fracture. If your fracture is due to a forceful blow, such as from an automobile accident, you also may experience a cartilage fracture. If your injury is severe enough to warrant surgical treatment, the surgeon should address both your bone and cartilage injuries.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com


    You can help prevent a nose fracture with these guidelines:

    • Wear your seat belt when traveling in a motorized vehicle, and keep children restrained in age-appropriate child safety seats.
    • Wear the recommended safety equipment, such as a helmet with a face mask, when playing hockey, football or other contact sports.
    • Wear a helmet during bicycle or motorcycle rides.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

    Lifestyle and home remedies

    If you think you may have broken your nose, take these steps to reduce pain and swelling before seeing your doctor:

    • Act quickly. When the break first occurs, breathe through your mouth and lean forward to reduce the amount of blood that drains into your throat.
    • Use ice. Apply ice packs or cold compresses immediately after the injury, and then at least four times a day for the first 24 to 48 hours to reduce swelling. Keep the ice or cold compress on for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Wrap the ice in a washcloth to prevent frostbite. Try not to apply too much pressure, which can cause additional pain or damage to your nose.
    • Relieve pain. Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others), as necessary.
    • Keep your head up. Elevate your head — especially when sleeping — so as not to worsen swelling and throbbing.
    • Limit your activities. For the first two weeks after treatment, don't play any sports. Avoid contact sports for at least six weeks after your injury.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

    Risk factors

    Any activity that increases your risk of a facial injury increases your risk of a broken nose. Such activities may include:

    • Playing contact sports, such as football and hockey, especially without a helmet that has a face mask
    • Engaging in a physical fight
    • Riding a bicycle
    • Lifting weights, especially if you don't use a spotter
    • Riding in a motor vehicle, especially without a seat belt

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

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