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All About Nosebleeds

MS - ENT, MBBS
ENT Specialist, Delhi  •  17 years experience
All About Nosebleeds

Nosebleed is a condition wherein blood vessels burst in the nasal lining. Nosebleeds are fairly common and it is rarely a serious condition.

  1. Anterior nosebleed: It is caused by the eruption of a blood vessel at the tip of the nose. Anterior nosebleeds are generally easy to control by yourself or by a doctor.
  2. Posterior nosebleed: It is a rare type of nosebleed. Posterior nosebleed mostly occurs in older people. It occurs when an artery bursts behind the nose, which causes the blood to flow down the throat. Posterior nosebleeds are, thus, dangerous, and they need immediate medical attention.

Causes:

  1. There are numerous causes of nosebleeds. The most common cause of nosebleeds is dry air. Dry climates dehydrate the nasal membranes (internal nasal tissues). This dryness leads to crusting which can cause irritation or itching.
  2. Also, if you pick or scratch your nose too much, it can start to bleed.
  3. Decongestants for allergies, sinus infection or cold and antihistamines can make the nasal membranes dry and cause nosebleeds as well.

Some other causes of nosebleeds include:

  1. Some sort of foreign object stuck in the nasal cavity
  2. Allergic reactions
  3. Repeated sneezing
  4. Nose injuries (For example, car accidents, a punch to the face, etc.)
  5. Chemical irritants
  6. Cold air
  7. Respiratory Infection
  8. Consuming high doses of aspirin-high dosage thins the blood down, thus triggering nosebleeds

There are other rarer causes as well, such as:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Bleeding disorder
  3. Blood clotting problems
  4. Cancer

Treatment: A nosebleed can easily be treated at home. While in a sitting position, close your nostril by squeezing the soft part of your nose. Hold your nose for ten minutes, then lean slightly forward. Inhale and exhale slowly using your mouth.

Never lie down when you are trying to stop a nosebleed, as you will end up swallowing the blood which can upset your stomach. Remove your hand from your nose after 10 minutes and check if the bleeding has stopped. If it has not, repeat the steps all over again.

However, consult a doctor if the bleeding does not stop or if there is a foreign object stuck in your nose.

If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.

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