Nasal fractures are a very common injury. This is no surprise, given the nose’s prominent location in the middle of the face. A nasal fracture (commonly referred to as a broken nose) is not only painful; it can cause breathing difficulties and dramatically change your appearance.
Fortunately, broken noses can frequently be repaired with no incisions – just a repositioning of the bones.
You may not be able to tell if your nose is truly broken until the swelling dissipates after a few days. At that point, a misaligned or broken nose is usually more obvious.
How Can I Tell if My Nose is Broken?
Nasal fractures occur from facial injuries suffered playing sports, falling, fighting, or when you’ve been in an accident. Both bone and cartilage in the nose may be affected. You’ll experience a number of symptoms that may include pain, bleeding, swelling, bruising, and difficulty breathing. You may experience a grating sound or feeling when touching or rubbing your nose. It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible; prompt treatment can help prevent septal hematoma, persistent nosebleed, cerebral spinal fluid drainage from the nostrils, and other complications.
In addition to changing the appearance of your nose, a nasal fracture might cause septal deviation or perforation, loss of smell, and long-term breathing difficulties. It can lead to nasal and sinus infections, as well.
Your doctor may attempt to straighten the bone or cartilage in your nose with a splint or nasal packing. This works best for minor fractures; more serious ones may require surgery, followed by antibiotics to prevent infection.
A nasal fracture may not only change the appearance of your nose; it could cause a septal perforation, deviated septum, loss of smell, and long-term breathing difficulty.