What is a broken nose?
A broken nose, similar to a deviated septum, is a condition that occurs when the cartilage in the bone breaks after a sudden impact. This is commonly the result of a motor vehicle accident, traumatic injury, or sports injury. Unfortunately, a broken nose can severely impact your ability to breathe and depending on the way your nose heals, it could change the way you breathe months or even years after the injury.
What is the difference between a broken nose and a deviated septum?
While they are similar, a deviated septum and fractured nose are not the same things. A deviated septum refers to the deviation (or movement) of the wall that divides your two nasal passages. This wall is known as the septum. When it moves to one side and causes a blockage, it’s called a deviated septum and can lead to significant breathing difficulties. It commonly requires surgical intervention to fix. On the other hand, a broken nose occurs when a forceful blow to the nose causes cartilage or bone fracture(s) to your nose. In some cases, a broken nose may lead to a deviated septum.
What causes a broken nose?
The most common causes of a nasal fracture include the following nose injuries:
- Sports injuries (e.g., hockey, baseball, football, boxing)
- Car accidents
- Physical fights/boxing
- Falling from a height
- Direct blow to the face
What are some common symptoms of a broken nose? How do you know if your nose is broken?
Signs or symptoms of a broken nose will commonly include the below:
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty sleeping
- Nasal discharge
- Nasal obstruction
- Misshapen nose
How is a broken nose diagnosed?
To diagnose a broken nose, visit a physician who is experienced with ear, nose, and throat conditions. During an in-office exam, the physician will ask you questions about what caused your injury, your past medical problems, pain level, symptoms, and other relevant information. Your doctor may also gently push the sides of your nose and look inside your nose to inspect the damage and make an accurate diagnosis.
When should I visit a doctor for a nose fracture?
Whenever symptoms indicate a possible nasal bone fracture, see your ear, nose, and throat doctor. A minor nose fracture may not warrant surgical intervention. Instead, you might be recommended to use ice and over-the-counter medication to alleviate swelling and pain. In cases where the fracture is more severe and disrupts breathing or is noticeably crooked, your doctor may recommend surgery. Depending on the kind of break you have suffered, your personal needs, and how many fractures there are, one or more of the following may be used:
- Broken nose surgery
- Manual broken nose realignment
- Deviated septum surgery
If you are suffering from a broken nose, the first step is to consult with a sleep health expert. Ear, nose, and throat specialists at eos sleep have extensive experience in treating ear, nose, and throat conditions as well as sleep-related problems. Call 212.873.6036 today or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment or to learn more about eos sleep treatment options.