A broken nose is a type of fracture or break that occurs on the bone of the patient's nose. Among the potential symptoms, pain in the nose is one common item. The nose may appear different than normal, with some kind of bend or crookedness. Bruises may show up both on the nose and below the eyes - as black eyes. The nose may bleed might also be tender to the touch. Additionally, there can be difficulty breathing via the nasal passage.
Any one of a variety of causes can lead to a fracture like this. When enough force is exerted on the nose, it can lead to a break. Falling down is one possibility, as are accidents on bicycles or motor vehicles. A broken nose is also a common occurrence during a fight.
Diagnosis is generally made by an examination of the area. Treatment options may vary, but in standard cases, a doctor might recommend only at-home care, including ice held in a cloth and applied to the broken nose, pain killers, etc. If the nose is severely injured the doctor may suggest conducting a Rhinoplasty. In another case where the nose has changed contours and nasal septum needs to be corrected, the practitioner may recommend a surgery called the septorhinoplasty. Another non invasive method is called the closed reduction. With closed reduction, a doctor holds open the patient's nose with the required tools. With the use of some other tools the surgeon places the bones and cartilage back into its original position.
However, post nasal surgery you need to adhere to certain guidelines and follow them strictly. They are:
- You may have splints in your nose for 2-3 days following surgery this will make breathing through your nose difficult. A humidifier or vaporizer should be used in the bedroom to prevent throat pain with mouth-breathing. You will also have an external splint for 2-3 days.
- Frequent hot showers, breathing in steam from a pot of boiling water, or simply sniffing a small amount of water through your nose will help break up congestion and clear any clot or mucus that builds up within the sinuses after surgery.
- Change the moustache dressing as often as needed. Some oozing of blood and mucus is expected for 2-3 days after surgery, and the dressing may need to be changed frequently during the first 24 hours following surgery. In case of profuse nasal bleeding, apply ice to the bridge of the nose and pinch the nose just above the tip and hold for 10 minutes.
- Do not blow your nose until cleared to do so.
- There may be swelling and faint bruising beneath the eyes. This generally fades within a few days. Application of ice for 15 minutes three times a day will help reduce bruising and swelling.
- Take pain medication as prescribed. It is fine to substitute Tylenol if the pain medication is too strong or causes nausea. It is important to stay well hydrated after surgery. Constipation is a common side effect of pain medications. Take a mild laxative.
- Sleep with an extra pillow or two, elevating your head slightly. You do not need to sleep sitting up in a chair.
- Obtain all medications and nasal sprays prescribed and use as directed. Antibiotics are used in the initial post-op period to prevent infection while the sinuses are healing. The mucolytic medication and the saltwater nasal spray may be started immediately.
- There are no diet restrictions, but alcohol consumption is not recommended and tobacco use is prohibited as Nicotine decreases blood flow to the healing nasal tissues and can actually compromise wound healing.
- No heavy lifting, no bending or stooping to lift and no vigorous exercise until cleared by your doctor.
- You can expect to have a stuffy nose for about 3-5 days after surgery, with some intermittent congestion for up to 2 weeks depending on a personal history of allergies or other factors. Sense of smell will be diminished during this time, and sense of taste will also be affected.
- Signs of a post-operative infection, which may occur within the 6 weeks after surgery, include fever, foul odour in the nose, discoloured nasal secretions, facial pain and pressure, and a cough. If any of these signs develop, contact your doctor.
- After splint removal, adhesive strips may be placed across the bridge of the nose to hold the bones in place and reduce swelling. Patients are seen back in the office approximately 7-10 days later.