Nosebleeds can be frightening and dramatic. Luckily, most cases of nosebleeds can be dealt with fair ease. Nosebleeds can be classified into two types depending upon the origin of the nose bleed, namely anterior and posterior.
- Anterior bleed is the most common, and the bleeding is from a blood vessel which is present in the front part of the nose. These bleeds can be easily controlled by simple measures taken by doctors or at home.
- Posterior nose bleeds are usually indicative of something more complicated and occur mostly in adults or the elderly. The bleed can be caused by a rupture in arteries in the posterior part of the nose. These nosebleeds can get severe and may require admission to a hospital for treatment and management. They are the most common in kids in the range of 2 to 10 years and adults older than 50 years.
What can cause nosebleeds?
- The most common cause of a nosebleed is probably trauma or an injury to the nose. External trauma includes a sharp blow to the nose, whereas internal injury comprises of injury from picking your nose continuously or irritation from cold.
- Less frequently, an underlying condition can also result in nosebleeds. These conditions include diseases that make clotting difficult. The inability of blood to properly coagulate and clot can be contributed by blood-thinning agents like aspirin and warfarin.
- Disease in the liver can also cause problems in the clotting of blood. Rarely, cancer in the nose or abnormal blood vessels present in the nose can contribute to bleeding. Another cause of nosebleeds can be high blood pressure, but it is rarely the only reason.
What are the symptoms of nosebleeds?
- Nosebleeds usually occur from one nostril. Sometimes, if the bleeding is excessive, the nostril can get filled with blood and it can cross the nasopharynx and overflow into the other nostril and result in bleeding from both nostrils. The blood can also go into the throat and one may spit out blood from the mouth or vomit out blood (hematemesis).
- Excessive blood loss can cause dizziness, confusion, lightheadedness, and can also cause fainting. Excessive blood loss from nosebleeds is not very common.
- Although, nosebleeds are rarely a complication, it is advised to consult a doctor if the occurrences are too frequent.