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How do I Treat a Nose Fracture?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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A nose fracture is not generally difficult to identify, as the symptoms are quite obvious. If you suspect your nose may have become fractured, however, it is important to visit a doctor if breathing difficulties arise or if the nose looks misshapen or bent. A nose fracture can lead to long-lasting problems if left untreated, though in many cases, simply letting the nose heal on its own is an option. To begin treating a nose fracture, you should lean forward and let the head hang slightly to allow blood to flow out of the nose rather than backward into the throat.

Accidents and other impacts are the most common cause of a nose fracture, so if the fracture occurs while participating in an athletic activity or in an automobile accident, it is important to first get to a safe place to prevent further injury. Do this only if it is safe to do so — leaving the car after an automobile accident, for example, may not be possible. Once in a safe place, treat the blood flow as mentioned. It is important to allow blood from the injury to flow forward rather than backward into the throat to prevent choking. If the bleeding does not stop within a few minutes, seek medical attention immediately.

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Taking a pain reliever such as acetaminophen can help alleviate the pain, but keep in mind that such medications may thin the blood and make clotting more difficult. Take the medication only after bleeding has stopped. A nose fracture will cause swelling almost immediately around the nose and sometimes underneath the eyes, so apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a towel to help reduce the swelling. This will help reduce pain and promote faster healing. If the nose appears misshapen or bent, do not attempt to straighten it on your own. This may cause further injury, and straightening should only be attempted by a doctor.

While treating a nose fracture on another person, be sure to consider whether that person has sustained other injuries. This may affect the decision to move the victim or the decision to contact emergency services immediately. Seek a doctor's help if the nose is misshapen, bent, or if the fracture is accompanied by other injuries. If not treated immediately, the nose may take several weeks to heal, meaning any adjustments to the appearance of the nose will have to wait several weeks.

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