There are numerous events and circumstances that can cause you to break your nose. How would you know your nose is broken if it’s all swollen and painful? If you bring yourself to the emergency room of the nearest hospital immediately after the injury, a routine x-ray procedure will reveal the truth. When you receive a bona fide diagnosis of a broken nose, what can you expect?

 The nature of nasal injuries

Injuring your nose in an accident or due to direct trauma results in damage to various types of tissue. Aside from the nasal bones, the nose contains a number of cartilage structures. If significant soft tissue injury is present the swelling may take days to quell. In addition, skin and muscle damage may also be evident upon close inspection. After the swelling goes down the doctor will be able to tell you the extent of the injury, and which facial features are affected.

 Fracture of the nasal bones

 A break along the nasal bones would be painful and uncomfortable. A specialist should take a good look at the shape you are in. You might require nasal surgery in Denver if the damage is considerable and reconstructive procedures are deemed necessary.

The nasal complex sits at the center of the face. Any change in alignment or damage to structure would be obvious. Aside from purely aesthetic concerns, nasal fractures and concomitant injuries could compromise your ability to smell and taste.

The usual management for a nasal fracture is closed reduction. The success rate of this procedure is very high, but unfortunately, some patients suffer from olfactory dysfunction as a postoperative complication. These people experience difficulty with discriminating smells.

woman looking at her doctor

Olfactory dysfunction

Loss of olfactory sensation can affect a person markedly. The inability to smell would affect a person’s ability to enjoy food, and distinguish between substances that are safe to use and those that may be potentially hazardous. This decline is often attributed to nerve injury and airflow disturbance due to damage to nasal structures and the presence of obstructions. Blood clots may also be present within the nasal cavity, which reduces the sensitivity of the smell receptors. In some instances, chronic bleeding disrupts olfactory function. A change in the shape of nasal cartilages and failure to correct it could result in changes in a person’s capacity to smell odors.

 Hyposmia and anosmia

Some people live with a decrease in the ability to detect doors (hyposmia). Others suffer with an ailment known as anosmia, or loss of ability to detect odors. In some cases, the problem is only temporary, and olfactory function improves as damaged structures heal. Severe damage in the form of compression injury or complete severance of the olfactory nerve would result in permanent loss of olfactory function. A break in the ethmoid bone, which injures the nerve directly, is the common cause of permanent loss of smell.

Fracture of the nasal bone and injury to the soft tissue of the nose could be disabling if not treated properly. The bones are fragile, and various structures may be involved. Nasal obstruction limits a person’s ability to breathe through the nose. Severe trauma to the olfactory nerve eventually leads to permanent loss of the ability to detect odors. Immediate medical attention is imperative if you experience an injury to the nose.