What to Do for a Broken Nose: First Steps to Take at Home

A broken nose is a fracture or cracks in the bony section of the nose, usually the result of some external trauma. Causes vary, and include falls, vehicle accidents, and sports injuries. Fracturing the nasal area is the most common type of facial fracture, according to several studies worldwide. If you feel you may have broken your nose, you must take immediate steps to ensure a successful recovery. The first step is to determine if your nose is broken or not.


Obvious symptoms of a fracture or crack to the nose include bleeding, swelling, and bruising. However, these effects do not prove you broke your nose. If you think you may have a fracture without these symptoms present, you are probably mistaken. Other signs that suggest a person has a broken nose include:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Nosebleed
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Black eyes
  • Crooked nose
  • A crunching sound when touched
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain and discomfort

If the nose fracture is minor, you will still need medical attention at an emergency room or doctor’s office. If you suffer a severe break, corrective surgery may be necessary.

First-Aid Measures

Taking action at home can help reduce the symptoms caused by nasal trauma and get a head start on the healing process. Here are some first-aid remedies  you can practice after a nose injury.

  • Apply an ice pack gently. If you suffer a nose injury, apply a cold compress immediately after the trauma to address swelling and pain. Leave the ice pack on the damaged nose for 15 to 20 minutes at a time until you can get medical attention. Do not apply ice directly to the skin; instead, have a cotton cloth between the compress and your nose. 
  • Address discomfort. Reduce pain with Tylenol or ibuprofen. Use as directed.
  • Take OTC nasal decongestant. Doing so will help with any breathing difficulties. However, if a nosebleed persists, do not take anything for pain and get medical attention as soon as possible. 
  • Keep your head elevated. Prop it up with pillows. 

Not all nose trauma requires extensive medical care, but it’s best to be safe, especially if your nose continues to bleed. If your discomfort level is intense and you struggle to breathe, you should seek medical help immediately.

How Do Doctors Diagnose a Broken Nose?

When you finally get to a health care professional like an emergency room doctor or facial plastic surgeon, they will do the following:

  • Inspect the inside and outside of the nasal area
  • Order X-rays 
  • CT scan may be necessary if facial injuries are severe

Once a qualified medical professional determines you have a fracture or break, he will suggest the necessary treatment.

When Does a Broken Nose Need Surgery?

If your nose has multiple breaks or a persistent deformity like a deviated septum, you may need the services of a facial plastic surgeon. These surgeries tend to be complex and involve tissue, bone, and cartilage realignment. However, if the fracture is simple with no tissue or bone out of place, the injury probably doesn’t require surgery. 

If you are considering rhinoplasty or any other aesthetic procedure in Connecticut, schedule a consultation with us today