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 include:
Possible complications of a broken nose include:
A broken nose is diagnosed through a physical exam and medical history. An X-ray of the nose may be done. 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 Reye syndrome.
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.
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD
Current as ofJuly 29, 2014
Current as of: July 29, 2014
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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