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How do I Treat a Swollen Nose?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A swollen nose often occurs after surgery on the nose or after an injury, such as from playing sports. If the nose is swollen so much that it becomes difficult to breathe, or is extremely painful, it is a good idea to visit a doctor to rule out a fracture. In addition, if symptoms do not begin to improve within a day or two, it may be necessary to visit a doctor as well, as it is always better to err on the side of caution.

If, however, the swollen nose occurs from surgery or a simple bump to the nose, there are a few things to do to treat it. If the nose is still bleeding from an injury, pinch off the nostrils with a tissue for approximately five minutes, but do not tip the head back, which can cause you to swallow the blood. This can lead to nausea. If the bleeding does not stop in a reasonable amount of time, visit the emergency room.

Once the bleeding has stopped, if it was bleeding at all, anti-inflammatory medication found in drugstores can help to relieve the swelling. Be sure to always follow the dosage instructions on the bottle. In addition, it is important to keep the head elevated. Do not lie flat on your back or on a single pillow; instead, try to rest and sleep at an angle to prevent blood from pooling in the area and causing an even more swollen nose.

Ice applied at regular intervals is another effective way to treat a swollen nose. Be sure to wrap the ice or ice pack in a towel rather than applying it directly to the skin. Apply the ice pack for approximately ten to fifteen minutes at a time, at regular intervals throughout the day. Do not simply leave the ice pack sitting on the nose for a lengthy period of time.

While trying to treat a swollen nose, remember to rest and relax. If your nose is swollen for another reason, such as rosacea, a doctor or dermatologist may be able to recommend daily treatments to decrease the redness and swelling. If the nose remains swollen, however, and there does not seem to be any plausible explanation, it is important to visit a doctor who will be able to determine if an infection or other complication is present. This is especially necessary after surgery, and particularly important if the nose feels hot to the touch.

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Discussion Comments

By anon359078 — On Dec 15, 2013

Hi please help me. My boyfriend's nose is swollen because someone punched him. What should he take to get rid of swelling? Please help.

By yournamehere — On Jan 09, 2011

@closerfan12 and planch -- I have definitely experienced what you guys are talking about, and it is a total pain.

The only things that I have found that work are a good anti-inflammatory from the drugstore along with almost hourly steam tents. I also try to apply ice every now and again if there's external swelling as well.

Also, what you can try is to sleep as upright as you can. I always end up trying to make kind of a pillow enclosure that props me up yet keeps my head forward so I don't feel like I'm sleeping on an airplane.

I hope that helps!

By Planch — On Jan 07, 2011

This is all really awesome advice for how to deal with a swollen nose from trauma, but what about swollen nose membranes, or swollen glands in the nose?

I have recently developed some kind of allergy that gives me really swollen nose tissue, a runny nose, and swollen lymph nodes, so much so that I have trouble breathing sometimes.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what is causing all this, but in the meantime, what can I do?

I can't seem to find any information on swollen nose gland rather than simply a swollen nose, so can anybody help me out?

By closerfan12 — On Jan 06, 2011

How can I deal with a swollen nose from a sinus infection? I get the worst sinus infections, and while I can stock up on the gualfenisin and painkillers to deal with the infection itself, my nose often gets to swollen that I can't breathe very well.

Is there some way to deal with that kind of sore and swollen nose? I always try to blow my nose as much as possible to get everything out so I can breathe better, and I have also tried doing steam tents to clear everything out, but nothing really seems to work very well.

It really drives me crazy, especially when I'm trying to sleep, and I am about to get to my wit's end -- if anybody has any good tips on how to deal with a swollen and sore nose because of a sinus infection, I'm all ears.

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