There’s nothing like a blow to the face to put you out of the game.
Here’s how you can be on your guard.
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Facial Trauma As a general rule, it’s best to seek medical care anytime anyone has suffered facial trauma – even if surgery will not be required. Symptoms that suggest you should seek emergency medical attention include:
- difficulty breathing through the nose due to swelling or bleeding
- visual disturbances, such as double or blurry vision
- hearing problems
- inability to bring teeth together
- pain with jaw movement
- face is uneven or asymmetrical
- open wounds with visible bone
- Nose Injuries The nose is one of the most commonly injured areas of the face. If someone gets hit in the nose, apply a cold compress and keep the head higher than the rest of the body. Seek medical attention if there is any visible deformity, difficulty breathing, or persistent bleeding.
- Busted Lip or Tongue These injuries aren’t to be taken lightly as they can lead to disfigurement if they do not heal properly. If sutures are need, see an oral surgeon. He or she can place them precisely in order to bring about the desired cosmetic result.
- Tooth Injuries If a tooth is knocked out, immediately place it in salt water or milk and head to your nearest oral surgeon. The sooner it is reinserted into the socket, the better chance there is of saving the tooth. An oral surgeon can also treat a fractured tooth.
- Facial Fractures Any bone fractured in the face will usually require hospitalization. Fractures are most common in the “T-Zone” area (nose, cheekbone, and the jaw), and they often occur in combination with one another.
Suiting Up If your sport calls for protective equipment, wear it!
- Football Players should wear helmets with face guards and mouth guards at all times.
- Baseball The catcher should always wear a mask, and batters should always wear batting helmets.
- Wrestling Wrestlers should wear mouth guards and headgear with a chin cup that can steady the jaw.