A broken nose typically heals within three weeks on its own, but consult a doctor if it’s not getting better or you notice a change in the shape of the nose.
Broken nose symptoms
Broken nose symptoms can include:
- Swelling, pain, and redness
- A crackling or crunching sound when you touch the nose
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- When the shape of your nose changes (not straight as before)
You might also have:
- Black eyes (bruise under your eyes)
- Nosebleed or a cut on the bridge of the nose
Broken nose self-treatments
- Place an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel on your nose for up to 15 minutes, multiple times a day.
- Consider paracetamol to relieve pain.
- Treat nosebleeds by standing or sitting upright and leaning forward. If possible, pinch your nostrils for fifteen minutes.
- Place your head upright while lying in a bed by adding multiple pillows to reduce swelling.
- Don’t straighten your nose if there is a change in shape.
- Avoid glasses until the swelling is down.
- Don’t pick or blow your nose until healed.
- Don’t do strenuous exercise for the first two weeks.
- Don’t play any sports for at least six weeks; if there is a chance of getting hit.
Broken nose treatments
A doctor might use a procedure called manipulation to straighten up your nose. You may need to go home and wait a few days for the swelling to go off, but the broken nose requires a procedure within 14 days.
Consult a doctor if:
- Your nose changes shape
- You have been swelling for more than three days
- Painkillers are not helping
- You have neck pain
- You have frequent nosebleeds
- You have a high temperature
- You have a severe headache and blurred or double vision
- You have purple swelling on your nose
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022