If you think you may have broken your nose, take these steps to reduce pain and swelling before seeing your doctor:
Jun. 18, 2014
- Act quickly. When the break first occurs, breathe through your mouth and lean forward to reduce the amount of blood that drains into your throat.
- Use ice. Apply ice packs or cold compresses immediately after the injury, and then at least four times a day for the first 24 to 48 hours to reduce swelling. Keep the ice or cold compress on for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Wrap the ice in a washcloth to prevent frostbite. Try not to apply too much pressure, which can cause additional pain or damage to your nose.
- Relieve pain. Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others), as necessary.
- Keep your head up. Elevate your head — especially when sleeping — so as not to worsen swelling and throbbing.
- Limit your activities. For the first two weeks after treatment, don't play any sports. Avoid contact sports for at least six weeks after your injury.
- Stone CK, et al., eds. Current Diagnosis & Treatments: Emergency Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=385&Sectionid=40357238. Accessed April 14, 2014.
- Mayersak R. Facial trauma in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 14, 2014.
- Mendez DR, et al. Nasal trauma and fractures in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 14, 2014.
- Fractures of the nose. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries_poisoning/facial_trauma/fractures_of_the_nose.html. Accessed April 18, 2014.
- Doherty GM. eds. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Surgery. 13th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=343&Sectionid=39702829. Accessed April 14, 2014.
- Nasal fractures. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/Nasal-Fractures.cfm. Accessed April 24, 2014.
- Blum DJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 23, 2014.
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