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Life After a Broken Nose

Life After a Broken Nose

A broken nose can be a traumatic (and painful) experience, but with proper care, your recovery can be a lot simpler than you might think. In fact, nasal fractures aren’t uncommon, comprising more than half of all facial fractures. 

At ENT Specialists, our team is skilled in treating all types of nasal fractures, helping patients in Salt Lake City, Murray, Draper, Tooele, and West Jordan, Utah, get the care they need to support a fast and complete recovery. If you or a loved one suffers a broken nose, here’s what you can expect during the hours, days, and weeks following the injury.

Immediate care

If you suspect you’ve broken your nose, it’s critically important to seek medical care right away. Nasal fractures may be accompanied by other facial injuries, or the break may be severe enough to cause serious health problems, so early medical intervention is essential.

During your evaluation, we examine the injury and take X-rays or use other imaging to map your fracture and look for other signs of facial damage that need treatment. Then, we’ll determine the best course of action.

Some very mild fractures may heal on their own, sometimes with the support of a splint or bandage. Medicine to reduce pain, use of cold compresses, and rest are the typical treatment for these very mild breaks.

For more severe fractures, you may need surgery to repair broken bones to reset them and cartilage into their normal positions. These procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, allowing you to recover at home.

Recovery care

The first few days of recovery tend to be the most uncomfortable, partly because your injury is still fresh and partly because you may have bandages or packing that make it more difficult to breathe. Swelling can also interfere with breathing and cause facial pain or headaches.

During the initial stage of recovery, you should avoid heavy lifting, bending over, and strenuous exercise, each of which can increase swelling and discomfort. You should also avoid blowing your nose, even though it will feel very stuffy. We may prescribe medicine to help relieve pain and inflammation or prevent infection. Cold compresses can also help.

We give you instructions about how to clean your nose and care for your bandages. If you have nasal packing or splints, you should continue to wear them until your provider says you can remove them.

After your nose completely heals, you should have no trouble breathing, blowing your nose, or sneezing. If you lost part of your senses of taste or smell after your fracture, it should return to normal levels once healing is complete.

Preventing future injuries

One more important note: Having a broken nose increases your risk of having another nasal fracture in the future. To reduce that risk, always wear your seatbelt in the car and use protective equipment when playing a sport. Ideally, you should look for activities where the risk of falls or impact to your face is minimal.

With prompt treatment, recovery from a nasal fracturecan be quick and complete, typically taking just a few weeks. To learn more about how our team treats broken noses, book an appointment online or over the phone with the team at ENT Specialists today.

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