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Nose injuries often occur
during play, sports, accidents, fights, and falls. Pain, swelling, and bruising
are common, even with minor injuries. Home treatment can usually help relieve
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. Most doctors prefer to check an injured nose
soon after the swelling has gone down. Sometimes, testing may be needed, such
computed tomography (CT) scan of the head, if other
facial injuries or fractures are suspected. See a picture of a
Whether or not your nose
is broken, a nose injury is more serious when:
Most broken noses heal
without problems. When problems develop, they can include:
Treatment of a simple fracture, when the
bone is still in place, usually includes pain medicine and nasal decongestants.
You may or may not need a nasal splint.
If your nose is broken and
out of place, it may need to be set. Most doctors like to wait for any swelling
to go down before setting a broken nose. Most swelling goes down after 2 or 3
days but may take as long as 7 to 14 days. After the nose is set, nasal packing
may be inserted and a splint may be applied. You may be given antibiotics to
help prevent infection if packing is used. Your doctor may want to recheck your
nose and remove the packing in 2 to 3 days.
When you have a nose injury, it is important to look for
other injuries to the head, face, and neck, such as a broken cheekbone, an eye
injury, an injury to the mouth or teeth, or a cervical spine injury. If you
think there are other injuries, use the topics in the Related Information
section to evaluate these injuries.
Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
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First aid measures are important
after a nose injury.
Talk to your child’s doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
While not all nose injuries can be
prevented, you can take steps to help reduce your risk of a nose injury.
You can take steps
to help reduce your young child's risk of a nose injury.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your
doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the
March 22, 2011
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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