It can happen in an instant: a ball comes flying at your face, or you are in a sudden accident. The impact hits your nose, causing the bones to break and blood to start flowing.
You need treatment for an urgent situation. At the same time, it’s also essential to consider the potential long-term consequences that can occur. For example, if you have a nose fracture that goes untreated, the healing process might result in a deformity or a different shape of the nose.
Who Should I See If I Broke My Nose?
In this emergency situation, one of the first questions you might ask is: who should I see if I break my nose? It’s important that you choose the right doctor to not only alleviate your immediate pain from a broken nose but also ensure that the nose heals correctly.
Is a nasal bone fracture an emergency? The immediate response is to head to an emergency room or urgent care center nearby. Emergency services are definitely the way to go if the situation is critical and you can’t stop the bleeding.
Here are a few signs that you need emergency help for a broken nose:
- Neck pain
- Severe headache
- Passing out
- Difficulty breathing
- Bleeding won’t stop
- Watery, clear fluid draining from the nose
Also, you should seek emergency medical services if other injuries or issues affect your overall health and wellness.
Often, the emergency room will refer you to a nose specialist after the bleeding is stopped so you can determine whether surgery or other treatments are needed.
How Can a Doctor Tell If Your Nose Is Broken?
Just because your nose is hurting doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a broken bone or a fracture. Your doctor can perform an examination to determine the extent of the damage, then offer recommendations for treatment.
During this appointment, your doctor will probably do several things to determine if your nose is broken:
- Ask about what happened when the injury occurred
- Place gentle pressure around the nose and on the outside of the nose
- Look for other signs of injury, such as swelling, cuts, and bruises
- Look inside of the nose using special tools that allow them to see the nasal cavity
- Look at the surrounding facial tissues, including the jaw, teeth, and eyes
These are a few signs that you have a broken nose:
- Visible swelling in the nose area
- A different shape to the nose (it’s bent or crooked)
- Pain, which intensifies when touching the nose
- Bruises beneath or around your eyes
- Difficulty breathing through the nose (feeling that the nostrils are blocked or stuffy)
- “Crackling” noises when you touch the nose
If 3 – 5 days have passed since your nose was injured and you have the above symptoms, then it’s a good idea to talk to an ENT for diagnosis and treatment.
Some patients visit an ENT immediately after the nose injury occurs. Other people wait a few days to see how the symptoms progress or improve.
Does ENT Treat a Broken Nose?
Yes, an ENT is an excellent resource for broken nose treatment. “ENT” stands for “ears, nose, and throat,” – so this type of doctor has plenty of experience working with various conditions that affect the nose.
Not only do ENTs help patients with illnesses and diseases, but they also specialize in emergencies and injuries. If you think your nose is broken, call our ENT office immediately for treatment.
Is There Anything a Doctor Can Do for a Broken Nose?
The immediate treatment for a broken nose is to stop the bleeding and manage the pain. You should always visit a doctor if you are in pain and you can see signs of bruising and swelling.
It’s important to seek medical attention quickly so you can access treatments if needed. There is a window of time when medical interventions are still effective. If the bones start healing incorrectly without treatment, it could result in complications in the future.
What Are Types of Nasal Fractures?
Nasal fractures are broken into different categories, depending on the severity and type of the injury:
- Type I: Injury limited to soft tissue.
- Type IIa: Simple, unilateral nondisplaced fracture.
- Type IIb: Simple, bilateral nondisplaced fracture.
- Type III: Simple, displaced fracture.
- Type IV: Closed comminuted fracture.
- Type V: Open comminuted fracture or complicated fracture.
Is a Nasal Fracture Serious?
Many broken noses can heal just fine without medical intervention. But it’s important to talk to an ENT doctor if you think your nose is broken. This proactive step is essential to check for underlying or more serious injuries.
If a more serious condition needs to be fixed, such as a displaced bone or torn tissue, then the doctor can recommend surgery or other treatments that optimize your long-term results. Leaving these issues untreated often results in complications that could have been avoided with medical intervention.
How Long Does It Take for Nasal Fractures to Heal?
Most broken noses heal on their own within 3 weeks, but the timing varies on the severity of the injury, the person’s age, and their overall health.
If medical interventions are needed to fix a broken nose surgically, then the recovery time might be a little longer. Always follow the doctor’s recommendations to speed up your healing and optimize the overall results of your treatment plan.
Immediate First Aid Recommendations for a Broken Nose
Even if you are heading to an ENT examination for a broken nose, it’s likely that you need immediate first aid treatment to stop the bleeding and alleviate the pain. Follow these steps:
- Sit Up: Don’t lean back or lie down. Make sure your nose is always positioned higher than your heart. Lean forward slightly so the blood comes out of your nose instead of flowing into the back of your throat.
- Pinch the Nose: Use your index finger and thumb to gently pinch the soft part of your nose. Hold this position for 5 minutes. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, pinch again and hold for 10 minutes.
- Pain Medication: Over-the-counter pain medication can be an excellent solution to alleviate your immediate discomfort. Follow the package instructions for ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Ice Pack: Cover an ice pack with a hand towel, then place it on the nose for about 10 minutes. Take a 10-minute break, then repeat.
ENT Consultation for a Broken Nose
If you think you have a broken nose, then reach out to an ENT in the Frisco. Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat is just a phone call away, with offices located in Frisco and Plano, TX. Complete our online form for an appointment request, or call our office for an emergency appointment: (972) 596-4005.