Nosebleed: Why Does it Happen and How to Treat It?

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Nosebleed or epistaxis is a common problem faced by most people at least once in their lifetime. Nose is the organ associated with breathing and faces extremes of the outer environment. Both children and elderly people are at increased risk of this condition. An increase or decrease in temperature, pressure or humidity can cause a sudden nosebleed. The exact reasons tend to vary. Often, it is not serious and gets well within minutes. However, frequent nosebleeds can be a sign of underlying disorder in which case, it should be diagnosed properly.

Nosebleed Why Does it Happen _ How to Treat It

What Makes Your Nose Prone to Bleeding?

  1. It is the organ that faces the external temperature variations most. In order to regulate the temperature of the air entering the body, the membranes get damaged.
  2. The nasal membranes are thin making them susceptible to injury.

Types of Nose Bleeding

There are 2 types of epistaxis:

  1. Anterior nose bleeding: It happens in the septum, the thin wall between the nostrils. It is generally harmless. It is most commonly seen in children.
  2. Posterior nose bleeding: It happens in the area where the arteries enter the nose. As a result, the bleeding is heavier. It indicates some serious underlying issues. Mostly older people face posterior nose bleeding.

Causes of Nose-Bleed

Epistaxis van is caused because of the following reasons:

  • Environmental factors: A change in humidity, temperature or pressure stresses out the thin nasal membrane. It leads to bleeding.
  • Physical factors: Any fall or accident that damages the face is most likely to cause nose damage too. If a person is already suffering from cold and forcefully blows out the nose, it may lead to bleeding. Kids often pick their nose causing new damages as well as the scabs from older ones to come off.
  • Medical factors: High BP patients are prone to nose bleeds. Also, patients on blood thinners or medicines for slowing down clotting frequently face epistaxis.

Prevention

Though not a serious issue, a nosebleed can cause discomfort and sometimes panic too. Here are the ways in which you can prevent it:

  1. Avoid over-blowing your nose especially if you previously had bleeding.
  2. Keep your room/house humidity level in control.
  3. Apply moisturizer or petroleum jelly inside the nose.
  4. Do not pick the scabs inside your nose.

Treatment

If your nose is bleeding, you can treat it in the following ways:

  1. Lie down and apply pressure on the bleeding area to stop bleeding.
  2. Put ice packs around the nose.
  3. Apply moisturizing ointment to stop further irritation.
  4. Put gauze inside the nose to the bleeding source if you have posterior nose bleeding.
  5. Go for septal surgery if the curved septum is cause for recurrent bleeding.
  6. You can also go for ligation of the arteries that lead to blood loss.

About 60% of the global population faces epistaxis at least once in a lifetime. From 60%, only 10% of cases indicate a serious issue. Even though nose bleeding is not considered a serious health condition, it is important to consult your doctor if the bleeding does not stop.

Dr. R. Ramya
Dr. R. Ramya is an ENT specialist practicing in Sraddha Hospital & Nirmala Clinic, Visakhapatnam. She has over 2 years of experience. She is an expert in micro laryngeal surgery, thyroid, microscopic and endoscopic surgeries, skull base surgery, sleep apnea and snoring realted problems, rhinoplasties, head and neck cancer management. She completed her M.S. (ENT) from Jipmer, Pondicherry, 2017.

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