Nasal Contusion

Your nose has bruising (contusion). You don’t appear to have any broken bones. A contusion may cause pain, swelling, and stuffiness of the nose. You may also have bleeding.

Home care

  • To ease pain and swelling, wrap a bag of ice, cold pack, or frozen peas in a thin towel. Place the cold source on your nose for 10 minutes at a time. Do this every 2 hours during the first 24 hours. Then continue 4 times a day for the next 2 days.

  • Take pain medicines as directed. Talk with your healthcare provider before taking ibuprofen to help control pain.

  • Tell the healthcare provider if you are taking aspirin or blood thinners.

  • Don't blow your nose for the first 2 days. After this, blow your nose gently. This helps prevent new bleeding.

  • Don’t drink alcohol or hot liquids for the next 2 days. These can dilate blood vessels in your nose and cause bleeding.

  • Sleep with your head elevated for a couple of days until the swelling and pain being to lessen.

  • Don't do any activity that could result in another head injury until you are given the OK to do so. 

Note about concussion

Because the injury was to your head, it is possible that you could have a concussion (mild brain injury). Symptoms of concussion can show up later. For this reason, be alert for signs and symptoms of a concussion. Seek emergency medical care if any of these develop over the next hours to days:

  • Headache

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Dizziness

  • Sensitivity to light or noise

  • Unusual sleepiness or grogginess

  • Trouble falling asleep

  • Personality changes

  • Vision changes

  • Memory loss

  • Confusion

  • Trouble walking or clumsiness

  • Loss of consciousness (even for a short time)

  • Inability to be awakened

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. If you have been referred to a specialist, make an appointment within 3-5 days of the injury.

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Bleeding from your nose that won't stop

  • Your nose looks crooked

  • You cannot breathe through 1 or both sides of your nose

  • Facial swelling, pain, or redness that gets worse

  • Fever of 100.4ºF (38ºC)

  • Pus or clear discharge from your nose

  • Skin on the nose is split open or has a gap

  • Sinus pain

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