Placed directly in the middle like a bull’s eye, it is no surprise that the nose is the most broken bone in the head. Nasal fractures can be cosmetic nightmare but breaking your nose can also make it more difficult to breathe.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I HAVE A NASAL FRACTURE?
When getting hit in the nose, it will hurt whether you broke bone or not, but there are other signs that you have broken your nose. There will be bleeding, and it will be difficult for you to breathe. Swelling can also develop when dealing with a nasal fracture. This can occur both inside and outside of the nose. You may also get dark bruises around your eyes. Nasal fractures can affect both cartilage and bone in the nose. Blood can sometimes form on the nasal septum. This is called a septal hematoma.
HOW WILL I KNOW MY NOSE IS BROKEN?
If you think you may have a nasal fracture, it is important to see an otolaryngologist, or ENT, so that they can examine the damage. It is important to be seen within one to two weeks of the injury, because if you wait too long then it will likely take several months to surgically straighten or fix the nose.
When examining the possible nasal fracture, the doctor will ask you several questions about how the injury occurred, your general health, and how your nose looked before the injury. An ENT will examine all surrounding areas around your nose to look for bruising, swelling, or any lacerations. An ENT might recommend an x-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan, to help determine if any other fractures may have occurred. This may not be helpful in determining whether a nasal fracture has occurred. The best way to determine a nasal fracture is if the nose looks very different and/or it is difficult to breathe.
If you are not sure whether you have a nasal fracture or not, we recommend scheduling a consultation with Dr. Joseph Russell. Dr. Joseph Russell is an experienced ENT and Facial Plastics surgeon in the Low Country. To schedule an appointment call (843) 576-3302 or schedule online.