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As the nose is a prominent part of the face, it is prone to injury and can be hurt frequently. It tends to swell up easily and this swelling can make it appear deformed. In the past, all such nose injuries were x-rayed, but it is now believed that these x-rays are unnecessary and, in certain cases, can be harmful. In most cases of nose injury, the swelling goes down in a short time and no further treatment is needed.
The following suggestions may help you to reduce the pain and any anxiety you might feel as a result of the injury:
• Don’t blow your nose hard as this might cause bleeding.
• If your nose does start to bleed, sit up and lean forward over a bowl with your mouth open.
• Pinch the soft part of your nose at the tip, blocking both nostrils and hold an ice pack to the bridge of your forehead.
• Open your mouth and breathe through it.
• If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 20 minutes of continuous pressure, go to the Emergency Department. Try not to swallow any blood – instead, spit it out.
• If breathing through your nose is difficult, breathe through your mouth instead.
• Cold packs (e.g. frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel) can help if applied to the bridge of the nose or back of neck for 10 minutes.
• If you are in pain, take paracetamol or ibuprofen tablets (available from pharmacies and supermarkets). Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
• An appointment should be made for you at the Emergency Department in the next five to seven days. At this appointment, a decision will be made whether or not to refer you to an Ear, Nose
and Throat (ENT) specialist.
If you are seen by an ENT specialist, they will decide whether manipulation of the nasal bones needs to be performed under a general anaesthetic. This is usually carried out as a Day Case. Manipulation must take place within two weeks of the injury. Sometimes, it is not possible to completely correct the deformity. If this is the case, then more surgery may be required. If your nose continues to feel blocked or painful, contact your GP for advice to ensure a septal haematoma (collection of blood) has not formed.
If you have any further queries, please contact:
• Emergency Department: 01908 995 913 ext. 2409 between 9am and 10 pm
• Hospital switchboard: 01908 660033 between 10pm and 9am
• Call NHS 111
• Your GP surgery