As a mom to three boys, ages 11, 13, and 14, I deal with a lot of rough-and-tumble issues. My two older boys in particular love to play football out in the yard with some of the older boys. Inevitably, someone always gets hurt, whether it be from a hard tackle or someone impaling themselves on a stick while falling down, which happened just last week to one of the neighbor boys.
Fortunately, none of my boys have ever broken a bone in their lives thus far. I guess I dose them up on a fair amount of calcium and Vitamin D! However, not too long ago, one of them was hit in the face by a football, which brought to my mind that memorable scene from the old “Brady Bunch” series where Marcia gets hit in the nose with a football, thereby breaking her nose and making it swell to what seemed like ten times its normal size. While I have never had a broken nose, I have heard it is quite painful, especially when you have to blow your nose or sneeze!
Since our noses are our most prominent facial feature, they are at greater risk for injury and account for about 40 percent of all facial fractures. A broken nose is also referred to a nasal fracture. It is a break or crack in the bone of your nose, usually over the bridge of your nose. Common causes of a broken nose include contact sports (It figures!), physical fights (I have seen plenty of those in my home!), certain falls (My 105-year-old grandma has a short resume of these!), and vehicular accidents (I vow to never let my sons drive!).
Some symptoms of a broken nose include pain, swelling, and bruising around the nose and under your eyes. Your nose may appear to look a bit crooked, and you may even have trouble breathing. You may experience a nose bleed or have a discharge of mucus from your nose. It may even feel as if one or both of your nasal passages is blocked.
Surgery is rarely required to fix a broken nose. Usually a physician will need to provide a procedure that will realign your nose. (That sounds incredibly painful to me!)
If your nose injury is accompanied by a head or neck injury, neck pain, vomiting, or unconsciousness, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Also, if you have continued difficulty in breathing or bleeding that will not stop, get to a doctor. Other changes of which to be aware that will require immediate medical care include a marked change in the shape of your nose that is not consistent with swelling and any clear fluid that is draining from your nose.
When treating a broken nose at home before seeing your doctor, be sure to apply ice to the area to minimize the swelling. Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can help with the associated pain. Ibuprofen also serves to alleviate the swelling.
Upon visiting your doctor, be prepared to advise him or her of the cause of the injury and of any symptoms you may be experiencing. If possible, bring in a “before” photo of you for your doctor to understand the original appearance of your nose. This can also enable him to gain a further understanding as to the extent of your injury.
Your doctor will most likely examine both the inside and the outside of your nose with careful manipulation tactics on the outside followed by the use of a nasal speculum to look into your nose. This can be uncomfortable, so you may inquire about local anesthetics in the form of a nasal spray or local injection to relieve the pain and discomfort.
Usually, it is not necessary to have an x-ray performed. Your doctor may call for a computerized tomography (CT) scan if he or she cannot conduct a complete physical examination of your nose due to a more severe injury.
In short, if you think you may have broken your nose, immediately begin to breathe through your mouth and then lean forward to reduce the blood that may drain into your throat. Apply ice packs immediately up to four times a day for the first day or two to minimize the swelling. Keep the pack on the nose for about 10-15 minutes each time. Be sure to place a cloth between the skin and the ice for protection from frostbite. Take some over-the-counter pain relievers and elevate your head, particularly when sleeping. This will keep the swelling and throbbing at bay.
So, the next time I see my boys engaging in a minor fight or a rough game of football, I am armed with the necessary information…just in case. I guess this Mom “nose” best, huh?
(Information for this article was supplied by www.mayoclinic.com/health/broken-nose.