A broken nose is evidenced by pain, swelling and bruising around the nose and eyes. This injury is common in sports because the nose protrudes from the face and is especially susceptible to trauma. If you've recently sustained a broken nose, you can do a few things immediately to help your nose heal, and a few things to keep your nose healthy and straight on a long-term basis. Talk to your doctor about the condition of your nose to decide whether surgery will be necessary.
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Lean forward and breathe through your mouth immediately after the break. Your nose is likely to begin bleeding after suffering trauma, and it's important that you don't allow blood to trickle down your throat and cause choking, warns MedlinePlus. Gently apply gauze, a facial tissue or a towel to the nose, ensuring that the pressure doesn't cause pain or dislodge any bone.
Place a few ice cubes in a plastic bag or thin towel, and apply gently to your nose. Apply your ice pack immediately following the break, and then at least four times per day for the first 48 hours, recommends MayoClinic.com. The ice pack can help reduce swelling and the congestion that can sometimes accompany a broken nose, and it should remain on your nose for 10 to 15 minutes.
Roll a towel and place it under the head of your mattress. Sleeping in an elevated position can help relieve your swelling so you sleep easier at night. It can also reduce problems stemming from middle-of-the-night nosebleeds.
Take an over-the-counter painkiller to help relieve some of the pain associated with a broken nose. Your nose will likely feel tender for several days following the break. Follow all of the dosing instructions listed on the packaging for safety.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor if your nose needs to be realigned following the break. If so, see your doctor within three to seven days so she can realign your nose before the bones begin to fuse together again, suggests the SportsMD website. If you need your nose realigned and the bones have begun to heal, a rhinoplasty may be necessary to break the bones and reset them properly.
Wear protective face gear in the future. Face gear can protect your nose from further injury as it heals. Face gear may also be necessary if you're especially prone to breaks in the nose.