Jos Dielis

First Aid for Broken Nose

Ear, Nose, & Throat (ENT)
Bone, Muscle, & Joint
Contributed byKrish Tangella MD, MBAMar 05, 2018

What is Broken Nose?

  • A Broken Nose occurs when a bone within the nose breaks or cracks. This injury frequently occurs to the bone over the bridge of the nose and involves the nasal cartilage (septum). The condition is also called Nose Fracture and is the most common type of facial fracture reported
  • Common causes associated with a Broken Nose include rough or high-impact sports, physical fights, falls, and automobile accidents. The injury may present pain, swelling, and bruising around the nose and beneath the eyes

What are the Causes of Broken Nose?

The causes of Broken Nose include:

  • Injury to the nose while participating in athletic activities or rough/high-impact sports (mainly boxing)
  • Physical quarrel, fights with other individuals, domestic violence
  • Any traumatic event, such as automobile, motorcycle, or bicycle accidents that cause injuries to the nose/face
  • Direct fall injuries that hurt the nose

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Broken Nose?

The signs and symptoms of Broken Nose include:

  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Tenderness and swelling of the nose and surrounding region
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Noticeable bruising around the nose or eyes
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Broken cartilage of the nose
  • Excessive mucus secretion from within the nasal cavity (rhinorrhea); nasal congestion

Excessive, heavy, and repetitive bleeding may cause lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting.

How is First Aid administered for Broken Nose?

First Aid tips for Broken Nose include:

  • Stay calm; breathe through the mouth (if breathing through the nose is painful, or if there is bleeding)
  • Sit upright and lean forward
  • Pinch your nose (nostrils) with the index finger and thumb
  • Do not release pressure to check if bleeding has stopped
  • Apply an icepack for 10-15 minutes (after bleeding is controlled); this may be continued for a few days thereafter
  • Avoid bending down and keep the head elevated, while resting
  • Administer a painkiller for controlling pain
  • Use a nasal decongestant in case of a minor breathing difficulty due to nose block
  • Visit a healthcare specialist for further assessment of the condition

Seek urgent medical help if:

  • Bleeding continues for over 20 minutes
  • There is drainage of fluid from the nose
  • Breathing difficulty persists
  • The cartilage or bone is broken; the face or nose appears distorted
  • An injury to the head, neck, or back is suspected

Who should administer First Aid for Broken Nose?

The injured individual or any bystander can administer first aid; however, the affected individual must seek medical assistance for a definitive management of Broken Nose.

What is the Prognosis of Broken Nose?

  • The majority of Broken Nose injuries heal without any serious complications, even if surgical treatment is required to realign or reconstruct the nose
  • A small percentage of individuals may require more than one reconstructive surgical procedure, usually for cosmetic reasons or to improve air flow in the nasal cavity

How can Broken Nose be Prevented?

A few helpful tips to prevent Broken Nose:

  • Individuals, who participate in any high-risk sports, such as football or hockey, should wear appropriate safety gear 
  • Provide a safe play environment to children
  • Wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle or bicycle
  • Wear a seatbelt while driving an automobile

What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?

  • Staying upright and applying pressure continuously for 10 minutes to arrest bleeding
  • Appropriate and timely medical help, if the condition is severe
Was this article helpful

On the Article

Krish Tangella MD, MBA picture
Approved by

Krish Tangella MD, MBA

Pathology, Medical Editorial Board, DoveMed Team


Please log in to post a comment.

Related Articles

Test Your Knowledge

Asked by users

Related Centers


Related Specialties

Loading card

Related Physicians

Related Procedures

Related Resources

Join DoveHubs

and connect with fellow professionals

Related Directories

Who we are

At DoveMed, our utmost priority is your well-being. We are an online medical resource dedicated to providing you with accurate and up-to-date information on a wide range of medical topics. But we're more than just an information hub - we genuinely care about your health journey. That's why we offer a variety of products tailored for both healthcare consumers and professionals, because we believe in empowering everyone involved in the care process.
Our mission is to create a user-friendly healthcare technology portal that helps you make better decisions about your overall health and well-being. We understand that navigating the complexities of healthcare can be overwhelming, so we strive to be a reliable and compassionate companion on your path to wellness.
As an impartial and trusted online resource, we connect healthcare seekers, physicians, and hospitals in a marketplace that promotes a higher quality, easy-to-use healthcare experience. You can trust that our content is unbiased and impartial, as it is trusted by physicians, researchers, and university professors around the globe. Importantly, we are not influenced or owned by any pharmaceutical, medical, or media companies. At DoveMed, we are a group of passionate individuals who deeply care about improving health and wellness for people everywhere. Your well-being is at the heart of everything we do.

© 2023 DoveMed. All rights reserved. It is not the intention of DoveMed to provide specific medical advice. DoveMed urges its users to consult a qualified healthcare professional for diagnosis and answers to their personal medical questions. Always call 911 (or your local emergency number) if you have a medical emergency!