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Complications from a Broken Nose

by
author image Lisabetta DiVita
Lisabetta Divita is a physician whose love for writing flourished while she was exposed to all facets of the medical field during her training. Her writings are currently featured in prominent medical magazines and various online publications. She holds a doctorate in medicine, a master's in biomedicine, and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Boston College.
Complications from a Broken Nose
A broken nose can lead to nasal congestion. Photo Credit Alliance/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

A broken nose, medically known as a nasal fracture, refers to a crack or break in the bones of the nose, according to the Mayo Clinic. Specific symptoms of a broken nose include nose pain or tenderness, a crooked nose, a runny nose and nosebleeds. A broken nose also can lead to nasal swelling and trouble breathing through the nose. Left untreated, complications from a broken nose can develop.

Deviated Septum

A broken nose can lead to a deviated septum. The Mayo Clinic explains that a deviated septum is a displacement of the thin tissue layer dividing the two sides of the nasal cavity. Specific symptoms of a deviated septum include nasal congestion of one or both nostrils, postnasal drip, nosebleeds and recurrent sinus infections. A deviated septum also causes noisy breathing.

Treatment of a deviated septum involves managing symptoms with antihistamines, decongestants and nasal cortisone sprays. A surgical procedure known as a septoplasty can be used to repair a deviated septum.

Septal Hematoma

A broken nose can lead to a septal hematoma. MedlinePlus says a septal hematoma refers to a collection of blood within the nasal septum. Specific symptoms of a septal hematoma include nasal congestion, trouble breathing and swelling of the nasal septum.

Treatment for a septal hematoma involves draining the septal hematoma. During the procedure, a physician cuts the tissue lining over the hematoma. The nose is then packed with gauze or cotton.

Other Complications

A broken nose can lead to facial deformities. The nose may appear crooked, bruised and swollen and severely affect an individual's appearance. Treatment for a disfigured nose involves splinting the nose. Sometimes, surgery may be necessary to put the nose back in place.

Trauma to the nose also can lead to loss of smell. Although not life-threatening, this can affect the sensation of taste. Once the broken nose is repaired, the sense of smell should return over time.

A broken nose can interfere with breathing as well, especially if the nasal bones and tissues obstruct the nasal passages. Again, repairing the broken nose should improve breathing.

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