Centers Urgent Care

Is My Nose Broken? Here’s How to Tell


A broken nose is the most common type of facial fracture. If you’ve suffered a blow or blunt force trauma to the nose, you may not know at first whether you’ve broken your nose or injured it.

Fortunately, there are several symptoms to look for, so you’ll know if you need a doctor.

Symptoms of a Broken Nose

The main symptoms of a broken nose include the following:

  • Dark bruising and swelling around the nose and eyes
  • Deformed nose bridge
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blood and mucus in nostrils
  • Blocked nasal passages
  • Grating sound when touching or moving the nose

It is easier for an adult to deal with the pain and shock of a broken nose than a child. Children often find it even more challenging to cope with the pain. The cause of the broken or injured nose is also important because it helps doctors decide on a course of treatment.

Causes of a Broken Nose

 There are several causes of broken noses in adults. They include the following:

  • Contact sports injuries, which commonly happen during hockey and football games, as well as boxing matches
  • Car accidents
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Fighting
  • Falls

A broken nose could also result from seemingly harmless occurrences, like walking into a door or a wall. Children can also injure themselves while engaging in rough play.

To avoid the pain and hassle of a broken nose, it’s important to know the risk factors involved in the injury.

Risk Factors

 If your child enjoys outdoor activities but has trouble keeping their balance, you should always keep an eye on them. The risk factors for broken noses in children are:

  • Falls
  • Gameplay
  • Contact sports like soccer

For adults, the risk factors include the following:

  • High-impact sports like hockey, wrestling, football, rugby, and soccer
  • Physical fights
  • Biking or bicycling
  • Weightlifting
  • Not wearing a seatbelt while driving

While it is true that a broken nose can heal on its own, several serious complications might occur.

For this reason, you should not delay going to the doctor if you suspect that you or your child may have a broken nose.

Complications of a Broken Nose

Broken nose complications vary according to age and the severity of the injury. Complications are more common in children with broken noses.

If your child has a broken nose, you want to act fast and get them to a doctor to prevent the following complications:

Deviated Septum

 If you or your child suffers a broken nose after blunt force trauma, the thin wall dividing the two sides of the nose may be displaced. A deviated septum occurs as a result.

A deviated septum narrows the nasal passage and causes other conditions like sleep apnea and obstruction of one or both nostrils. You can manage the condition through decongestants and antihistamines, but only surgery can correct it.

Uncontrollable Nosebleeds

 Nosebleeds from a broken nose can quickly become serious. If you suspect you or your child is suffering from a broken nose and you can’t stop minor bleeding, you may want to see the doctor immediately.

If there is a lot of blood and your child looks like they’re on the verge of passing out, call 911 immediately.

Permanent Cosmetic Damage

 If your nose becomes obviously deformed due to blunt force trauma from an accident or a fall, surgical treatment is necessary. If the damaged cartilage is not treated immediately, it may lead to permanent cosmetic damage.

A nose break or fracture is a traumatic event and can cause serious complications if left untreated. This is why it’s a good idea to take extra caution when engaging in activities that could lead to a broken nose.

How To Prevent a Broken Nose

 There are several ways to protect yourself from serious injury, including a broken nose.

These include the following:

  • Invest in good, non-slip shoes to prevent falls.
  • Always wear a seat belt when driving and make sure your child uses an age-appropriate safety seat in the car.
  • Wear protective face gear when playing sports.
  • Wear a helmet when skateboarding or riding a bike.

Accidents happen despite the best measures taken. If you do end up injuring your nose, it is crucial to know when to visit urgent care.

When to Visit the Urgent Care

You should go to urgent care immediately if your nose won’t stop bleeding or the septum is visibly out of place..

At Centers Urgent Care we can take an X-Ray of the nose, which would detect fractures, and refer you to an ENT if necessary.


Broken noses happen. It is how you deal with the fallout that matters. It may be tempting to just deal with the pain and put off going to the hospital. In cases like this, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you’re unsure whether your nose is injured or broken, always opt for medical treatment first.

This will also help prepare you should a similar injury happen in the future.

Centers Urgent Care is here for all your medical needs. Our experienced providers are ready to help. Find a location closest to you here

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