It’s that time of year again; outdoor activities and contact sports. That’s right! When the weather’s nice, nothing says “summer fun” like playing sports that put the human body through great stresses. Even with protective equipment, like a football helmet, the face remains vulnerable to a wide range of injuries – specifically the broken nose. This isn’t just a cosmetic issue, but a health issue that could lead to other problems down the road.
Let’s start with a story. My dad was 7 years old (he’s now 59) when he fell off of a small shed and landed face-first onto a woodpile, breaking his nose. His parents weren’t ones to take him to a doctor to get it fixed, so he lived with it his entire life. Growing up, I had always thought that it was just a distinct facial feature and that it didn’t affect him any other way. Later on, I realized that his loud and heavy snoring was the product of his deviated septum. Not only that, I noticed that he breathed louder than others and sometimes I could hear a subtle whistle when he breathed through his nose.
The point of this story isn’t just anecdotal. What I came to realize later was that my dad had suffered other health problems as well, not just a crooked nose that he felt was a charming and distinct quality of his. After speaking with him recently, he divulged that much of his health issues over the years could be traced back to his broken nose. First, his heavy and loud snoring only happened after the incident; something he hadn’t had an issue with before. He’s also suffered from consistent sinus infections, which at one point went untreated and led to pneumonia. To this day, he wouldn’t suggest to anyone to leave a broken nose untreated.
Take it from my mom, who broke her nose when I was 10. Luckily, when taken to the emergency room, a doctor on staff was willing to straighten it out right then-and-there. Apparently, it sounded like cracking celery (ouch). Despite the initial pain she felt, her health issues could have been much worse, later on, had she not gotten it taken care of right away. Although it was taken care of, she has recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea and intense snoring. Even though they fixed the initial problem, it did not prevent all possible health problems.
The point of this story is to bring awareness to the vulnerability of the issues regarding the ear, nose, and throat. Without proper protection and care for our noses and sinuses, we can do a great deal of damage to our bodies. And the lesson that I gather from this is that I should be extra careful with my nose since it happened to both of my parents. Good luck out there. Be safe. Protect your noses!