Nasal bone fracture is a nasal injury that may occur due to nasal trauma. It can be caused by nasal surgery, nose picking, nose-blowing, or nasal septum injuries. Nasal fractures are not typical and usually require surgical treatment for repair. However, some people with nasal bone fractures will heal without any medical intervention. This article discusses the possible causes of nasal bone fractures and the treatment options available to those who suffer from these injuries.
What is a Nasal Bone Fracture
A nasal bone fracture is a break in the nasal bone or nasal septum. The nasal septum is a cartilaginous structure with an opening on each side of it for airflow between your left and right nasal cavity.
Nasal fractures can occur because of various reasons. If you recently had an accident that resulted in trouble breathing, schedule an appointment with your doctor to check your nasal condition.
What Are The Symptoms of Nasal Fracture?
Symptoms of nasal bone fracture can vary depending on the severity of the injury. People who have suffered a nasal bone fracture may experience pain, swelling, and bruising around the nose. There may also be some difficulty breathing through the nose. Other symptoms include:
- Pain or tenderness, especially when touching your nose
- Bleeding from your nose
- Swelling of your nose and surrounding areas
- Bruising around your nose or eyes
- Crooked or misshapen nose
- Discharge of mucus from your nose
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
- Feeling that one or both of your nasal passages are blocked
Suppose you suspect that you have fractured your nasal bone. Then, in that case, seek medical attention right away.
What Are The Possible Complications If You Have a Fractured Nasal Septum?
Several potential complications can occur as a result of nasal bone fracture. These may include:
Nasal Septal Hematoma
You may be unable to breathe from one or both nasal passages if the nasal bone fractures block the nasal airway. An obstructed nasal airway symptoms include snoring, decreased ability to smell, and repeated sinus infections. In minor cases, when the nasal bones only crack but do not break through into either nasal cavity, you may not experience any pain or nasal congestion. However, nasal congestion can also occur after nasal bone fractures due to mucus drainage from the sinuses.
Nasal Speech Impairment
Nasal speech is sometimes more difficult for patients with a nasal bone fracture. This is because the nasal airway may be blocked by blood or swelling in some cases, making it hard to produce nasal sounds. For some people, this will improve on its own over time. Still, others may require surgery or other treatment options to restore their ability to speak normally.
Different Causes of Nasal Fractures
Several things can cause nasal bone fracture. Some of the risk factors of this include:
A nasal bone fracture may be a result of trauma to the head. If you have a head injury, the force may be transmitted to the nasal bones, leading to a fracture. These facial fractures may include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports-related injuries
- Recreational activities such as skiing, snowboarding, or skateboarding
Any type of facial fracture can potentially damage the nasal bone. It is essential to seek medical attention if you have any signs or symptoms of facial injuries.
Nasal injuries can also happen because of drug abuse. When users snort drugs, they may put excessive pressure on the nasal bones, leading to fractures.
In rare cases, tumors can be the reason for a nasal bone fracture. If a tumor grows in or around the nose, it can put pressure on the nasal bones and lead to fractures. Tumors that may cause nasal bone fracture include:
- Cancerous tumors
- Benign tumors such as nasal polyps
- Sinus Infection
A sinus infection can also cause a nasal bone fracture. The infection can cause swelling and inflammation in the sinus passages, which puts pressure on the nasal bones and leads to fractures.
Colds or Flu
The common cold and the flu are viral respiratory infections that can cause nasal congestion and mucus drainage. The cold is a milder infection that lasts for a week or two. At the same time, the flu is a more severe illness that can cause fever, body aches, and extreme fatigue. Both of these infections can also lead to nasal bone fracture if the pressure of the mucus drainage is too great. Suppose you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of a cold or flu. In that case, it is crucial to seek medical attention right away. Treatment options may include antibiotics, antiviral medication, or nasal decongestants. In advanced cases, this may require surgical procedures.
A nasal bone fracture can also be a result of birth trauma. Birth trauma is the general term used to describe any physical injury that occurs during the process of childbirth. This can include injuries to the baby’s head, neck, and spine. Pressure applied to the baby’s head by forceps or vacuum extraction devices can cause nasal bone fracture. Birth trauma may also occur if the baby becomes stuck in the birth canal for an extended period. This can lead to compression injuries and skull fractures. In some cases, birth trauma can also cause death.
Allergies are another common cause of nasal congestion. Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is a condition that occurs when the body reacts to specific allergens such as pollen, pet dander, or dust mites. The nasal passages become inflamed and produce excessive mucus, leading to nasal congestion and difficulty breathing. If you are experiencing allergy symptoms, it is essential to seek medical attention. Treatment options may include antihistamines, nasal decongestants, or immunotherapy. In some cases, a nasal bone fracture may also require surgery.
The nasal septum is the thin wall of cartilage that separates both nasal passages. It can become deformed, crooked, or bent out of shape due to injury or overuse. The nasal septum is responsible for maintaining proper airflow through the nasal passage. If it becomes skewed or misaligned, breathing may become difficult. Then, nasal congestion will occur. If you are experiencing problems with your nasal septum, see your doctor as soon as possible.
Certain medications can also lead to nasal bone fracture. Medicines that may be responsible include:
- Oral contraceptives
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
So if you are taking any of these medications and experience a nasal bone fracture, make sure to speak with your doctor about the potential risks. Treatment options may include discontinuing the drug, changing the dosage, or switching to a different medication.
Diagnosis of Nasal Bone Fracture
If you suspect that you have fractured your nasal bone, your doctor will likely perform a physical examination. They will look for signs of nasal fracture such as nasal deformity, nasal swelling, and nasal airway obstruction. During the examination, your doctor may also listen for any breaks in the nasal structure.
Several treatment options may be recommended once a nasal bone fracture has been diagnosed. Treatment options include:
If the nasal bone fracture is minor and there is no displacement of the bones, non-surgical treatment may be recommended. This may include:
Rest and ice: Ice can be applied to the area to reduce swelling and pain.
Nasal decongestants: This will help clear the nasal passages and make it easier to breathe.
Pain relievers: Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be taken to help relieve pain.
Steroid injections: Steroid injections may reduce inflammation and swelling around the fracture site.
If the nasal bone fracture is large or there is a displacement of the bones, surgery may be necessary. During surgery, the bones will be put back into place and may be held in place with screws, metal plates, or wires.
In any case, there are several risks associated with nasal bone fracture surgery, including:
Infection: There is a risk of infection following nasal bone surgery.
Bleeding: Bleeding after nasal bone surgery is also possible and common.
Nerve damage: This can also happen following nasal bone surgery.
Persistent nasal dryness: Following nasal bone surgery, there is a risk of persistent nasal dryness.
Scarring: Like other surgical procedures, nasal bone fracture surgery can also leave some scarring following the treatment.
It is essential to discuss the risks and benefits of each treatment option with your doctor before deciding which treatment is best for you.
Nasal bone fracture is a rare injury caused by a sudden impact on the nose or face. This article has provided information about what causes nasal bone fractures, how they are diagnosed and treated, and when emergency medical care should be sought. If you have concerns about your health after an accident involving your head or facial area, it would be wise to seek professional advice from a physician specializing in this type of injury. You may also find comfort in knowing that most people recover fully without enduring any long-term complications following treatment for this condition.
What Are Facial Fractures?
What causes nasal congestion?