A broken nose, otherwise called as nose fracture or nasal fracture, is a crack or break that can be found on the cartilage of your nose. It can also occur over the nose bridge or along the area that divides your nostrils, also known as the septum. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about having a broken nose as well as its symptoms, possible causes, treatment options, and prevention.
What can cause a broken nose?
Most often, a nasal fracture is due to an unexpected event that gives a sudden impact to your nose. At most instances, a broken nose can occur with other neck or facial injuries. We have listed below some of the most common causes of a nasal fracture.
- Getting an intense impact during a contact sport
- Vehicle accidents
- Getting kicked or punched in the face and other physical combat
- Tripping or falling down
- Walking into a hard surface
How can I tell If I have a broken nose?
Were you in a serious accident or did you experience a sudden impact on your face and nose? There may be an underlying concern as having a nasal fracture can be difficult to identify without the help of an imaging scan. If you are interested to know the symptoms of having a broken nose, here are some of the most common characteristics that you must keep in mind:
- Severe pain inside or around your nasal area
- Having a noticeable bend on your nose structure
- A swelling or an enlargement which makes your nose look like it is out of shape
- Bleeding from your nose
- Blocked nasal passages which lead to a stuffy nose
- Not being able to drain any blockage
- Serious bruising around the eyes or nose
- A scraping or rubbing sound that can be heard when you try to move your nose
What symptoms should require immediate medical treatment?
Having a nasal fracture can be a serious matter when you experience some of these symptoms. In case any of these happens, contact your doctor or take a trip to the emergency room so proper attention and care would be given immediately.
- There is a heavy bleeding from your nose and it just won’t stop
- Presence of a clear fluid that drains from your nose
- Intense difficulty from breathing
- The bone on your nose looks visibly misshapen and crooked
If you suspect that the abovementioned scenarios are accompanied by neck and head injuries, you should refrain from doing sudden movements so that there will be no further damages.
Who is at risk of having a nasal fracture?
Because there are no boundaries and rules that determine as to who would get into an accident, anyone is at the risk of having a nasal fracture. At some point in our lives, we will experience injuries and one of these might be as serious as having a fractured nose. However, there may be certain activities and situations that can put you at a higher risk of getting a nasal fracture.
- Physical altercation with another person
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Bicycle injuries
- Snowboarding and skiing injuries
Groups that have a higher risk
Sports and Physically Active People. Those who participate the most in contact sports and other athletic activities are at a higher risk of getting a broken nose. Today’s most common sports events that have an increased possibility of sudden impact resulting to a nasal fracture are the following:
- Boxing or Wrestling
- Martial Arts
- Ice hockey
Heredity. Although there is a slightly lower chance and possibility as compared to those who participate at athletic activities, a broken nose can also happen to anyone that has a weaker bone structure. Aside from children and seasoned individuals who have underdeveloped and frail build, some may be born with a feeble bone mass. This puts them at a higher risk for nasal fracture. This is why we need to be properly geared for any events that may involve your nasal passage.
How is a nasal fracture diagnosed?
After the necessary physical examination and imaging tests, your doctor will need to check your concerns by visual evaluation. It would involve careful looking and touching on the areas around your nose and face. If you are experiencing a lot of pain and have a high risk of developing anxiety, you should ask if it is possible to use a local anaesthetic before any physical examination. Anaesthetics will bring great help by numbing the area and lessening the pain.
You might be asked for a follow-up consultation when swelling has subsided and has gone down. Nose injuries are diagnosed after careful consideration of the imaging results and physical examination. If it appears that your nose injury is accompanied by other concerns, your doctor might order other imaging techniques to help determine the extent of damages.
How Do We Treat A Broken Nose?
- First Aid
Depending on the extent and severity of the situation, you must always seek advice from trusted medical professionals. Furthermore, immediate treatment must be given in the event that you confirm having symptoms of a nasal fracture.
- Medical Treatment
After proper first aid procedures, medical treatment options are likely to be provided by your doctor. If the injury is severe enough, a nose surgery might be one of the choices to be taken into consideration. There are several nose surgery procedures that can help repair and realign your nose, depending on the doctor’s assessment of your situation.
How Can I Prevent A Broken Nose?
Simple precautions can go a long way and help you reduce the risk of having a broken nose. Here are some tips that you can take if you want to avoid getting a nasal fracture:
- Choose footwear that has good traction to prevent slipping and falling
- Don’t forget to use the necessary protective gear during contact sports and other physical events
- Wear your seatbelt when you ride your car
- Be mindful of your surroundings and look at where you’re walking to avoid stumbling through walls
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