Car accidents, contact sports and groups of teenagers who engage in fights can all be the causes of a facial fracture. An estimated three million people in New Jersey and across the United States go to the emergency room for facial trauma each year. Of these, a percentage will experience a fracture of their nose, eye socket, jaw or face. Though the symptoms of a facial fracture vary depending on the part of the face that is injured, recognizing when to go to the doctor is critical in getting the necessary help.
How easy is it to get a facial fracture?
Though facial fractures aren’t the most common broken bone that people experience, they can happen very easily. Imagine a woman who is driving home from work after a long day. She is stuck in stop-and-go traffic on the way home and leans back against her seat. Suddenly a large truck fails to stop in time and rear-ends her vehicle, causing her face to smash against the steering wheel. Her nose immediately swells, is extremely painful and begins to bleed. The paramedics suspect she has broken her nose in the accident and send her to the hospital to be evaluated. Facial bones are delicate, and it doesn’t take a huge amount of force for them to break.
Common symptoms of facial fractures
Facial fractures are a severe injury, and the symptoms typically include:
- Swelling or facial deformity
- Missing or loose teeth
- Numbness or tingling
- Blurry vision or loss of vision
- Bleeding in the white part of the eye
- Flat or inverted forehead or cheek
What to do after if a facial fracture is suspected
If you suspect you or a loved one has a facial fracture, seek emergency care right away. A fractured facial bone can cause problems with eyesight, sinuses or teeth that can become serious if not treated immediately. Follow up with medical staff as needed to prevent the injury from causing more problems in the future.