Signs of a Broken Nose

By james
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People have a habit of picking up knocks and injuries, especially people who live active lifestyles. Fortunately, most injuries received are fairly minor and present little to no threat to people’s lives or their health overall. One of these is a broken nose, and it is also one of the most common.

A broken nose is not necessarily something to be worried about. However, it can lead to complications and, depending on the injury, it can be a good idea to get it checked out in case. Injuries to the nose don’t always mean it is broken, however, but there are some signs that can help you be confident it is.

1. Nasal Fracture

Our noses sit in a prominent position at the front of our faces. As such, they are exposed and prone to receiving trauma, while they are also relatively fragile. This means that they can become broken relatively easily, and they are the most common of all types of facial injury.

Nasal fractures are common among people who take part in sports, especially contact sports. However, anybody can have an accident that will end up with a broken nose. The good news is that, although it can be painful, a broken nose is usually quite superficial and little to be concerned about.

Broken Nose

2. Septum

The septum is the name given to the bony ridge that runs down the front of your nose. It is made of bone and cartilage with the bony part at the top as it extends down from the skull.

People have noses of different sizes, and how far the septum protrudes from the front of the face determines much of what makes a nose big or small. When a nose is broken, it is usually the septum that has been fractured. Quite often, it is a hairline fracture, which means that the bone remains in place and has a very slight crack in it. In other cases, it can be a complete break and the nose will be misshapen.

3. Is It Broken?

It is not uncommon to receive a blow to the nose that’s hard enough to cause it to bleed. After all, the tissues in the nasal passage are quite thin and easily broken. As such, a bleeding nose does not necessarily mean that it has been broken. Even if it is causing you a lot of pain.

There are some signs that make it quite clear that the nose is actually broken. At other times, it is less obvious and an x-ray may be necessary to reach the right diagnosis. If you are unsure, then you can arrange to speak with a medical professional to get it checked out.

Broken Nose

4. Bent

Perhaps the most obvious sign that the nose has been broken is that it is misshapen. This will mean that the bone in the nose has literally been fractured it must be in order for it to be so misshapen.

When it is visibly clear in this manner, x-rays and other methods are not necessary to reach a diagnosis. When this happens, it is not uncommon for sports people to have their nose reset there and then. It is obviously going to be painful, but it helps ensure the patient can continue breathing through their nose. It also helps aesthetically because it helps to prevent the nose from becoming set in a bent position.

5. Mucus Discharge

A force that is strong enough to break your nose may also have been able to cause damage to the sinuses, especially the ethmoid sinuses. These are located in the skull at the top of the nose and they are responsible for producing the mucus (snot) that your nose is lined with internally.

If these are damaged then it can allow mucus to leak out of the sinuses and into the nose. In turn, this mucus will make its way out of the nose in greater than usual quantities. Make sure to see a doctor if you are experiencing heavier than usual mucus discharge.

Broken Nose

6. Cracking Sound

If your nose is broken then you may have heard the bone crack when the impact happened. In addition, you might also hear a cracking sound for some time after the incident when you touch the nose. This is because the bone is not securely in place and you will be able to hear the different parts rubbing together.

In addition to hearing a cracking sound, you may also be able to feel the movement of the different parts of the bone rubbing together. This is obviously going to be very painful and you should avoid moving it yourself unless you know what you are doing.

7. Trouble Breathing

We can choose to breathe through our noses or through our mouths and which we choose is largely a matter of what we are most comfortable with. If you are used to breathing through your nose and, for some reason, the nose becomes blocked, it is not always exactly easy to adjust to breathing through the mouth.

If a nose is broken then the misalignment can mean that the nasal passages become restricted in terms of air flow. This can mean that the patient finds it harder to breathe than they usually would, but this can usually be fixed without too much difficulty if needed.

Broken Nose

8. Pain

Fractured bones are notoriously painful, even where smaller bones are concerned. That said, any substantial blow to the face is going to cause some pain, but probably not as much pain as if it was broken. If it is actually broken, you would usually be able to tell because the pain would be above and beyond a standard knock.

If the pain is too much then you can consider getting some painkillers to help take the edge off a little. Something like ibuprofen should be able to help, but always be careful about using painkillers. If you are not sure, then speak to a professional first about what you should take.

9. Black Eyes

A force that is strong enough to break the bone in your nose is also going to damage to the blood vessels in the area. This will cause blood to leak out from the blood vessels, and, depending on the circumstances, this blood will remain trapped beneath the skin.

This blood will remain trapped under the skin and will slowly become darker. This will be clearly visible, resulting in what we know as a black eye. The bleeding is also likely to cause swelling, while additional swelling will also likely occur as the immune system sends resources to the area to start repairs.

10. What to Do?

If you do have a broken nose, there are some things that you should do straightaway. First of all, you should sit up and lean forward. This will help keep your head higher than your heart is, and will also help to prevent the blood from dripping down the back of your throat.

In addition, take something cold if it is available and place it on the affected area. This will help to constrict the blood vessels, limiting the flow of blood to the area. It is important to do this quickly to help reduce the swelling until the blood vessels are repaired.

Broken Nose

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