A broken or fractured nose is an injury to the upper part, or bridge, of the nose. Common causes of a broken nose are trauma caused by fights, sports, falls, and accidents. Symptoms of a fractured nose can include:

  1. Tenderness, swelling, and bruising on and around the nose and eyes
  2. Bleeding from the nostrils
  3. Deformity to the bridge of the nose (crookedness)
  4. Pain and difficulty when breathing
  5. Mucus discharge from the nostrils

Treat a broken nose at home with ice wrapped in a towel, 15 minutes on the nose, 15 minutes off. Use over-the-counter pain medications and nasal decongestants to ease the pain and aid in breathing (do not use nasal decongestants if bleeding persists).

Often, a broken nose will heal on its own and will not require medical attention. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical care:

  • Severe head or neck pain accompanied by vomiting, numbness or tingling in the arms, and/or loss of consciousness
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Difficulty breathing after the swelling has subsided
  • Clear, watery discharge from the nostrils
  • High fever
  • Change in vision
  • Crooked or twisted appearance in the bridge of the nose

In order to determine if your nose is broken, your ENT specialist will do a thorough examination of the outside and inside of the nose. He or she may also take X-rays or a CT scan if additional facial injuries are suspected. If your doctor determines your nose is broken but the bone isn’t displaced, he or she may just prescribe pain medication and suggest treatment with ice. If the bone is displaced, treatment may include realigning the bone pieces.

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