Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is there any medical treatment I should seek if I think I broke my nose?"
Got hit in the face with a basketball and my nose got swollen. There was a bit of blood when it happened too. I think it might be broken but it looks straight. Will it be okay if I just let it heal on its own or would a doctor be able to do something to help me?
A broken nasal bone (the vomer bone) will often cause a nasal deviation. Trauma to the face is very common resulting in a bleeding nose. Chances are that your nose are not broken. However, even if it were broken, the alignment is appropriate to you and you do not have any breathing problems from soft tissue swelling so there is typically nothing that needs to be done medically. The treatment for broken bones is immobilization and rest. For the nose that is already in good alignment there are not any other methods to keep it more aligned or more immobilized. It is best to avoid all contact sports that would reinjure your nose until it is completely healed, which typically takes about 6-8 weeks. If you must keep on playing baseball during this time, you may need to get a face-shield. Many professional athletes use these face-shields so that they can continue to play. They are typically made of fiberglass that is specifically designed for your own face. That being said, the bone in the face is very thin and many are quite fragile. They are quite easy to break in falls. Sometimes a nasal fracture is accompanied by other facial bone fractures which are important to ensure appropriate care. You should consult a primary care physician who can examine and may order appropriate imaging if warranted.
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