Nosebleeds are a very common health concern. Some may experience it due to seasonal changes while others may suffer from it due some underlying health issues. Some nosebleeds get over with time without any medical intervention, others require necessary treatment.
Nosebleeds may be due to different impacts on the nose vessels, which are located in the back and front of the nose. These blood vessels are very fragile and tend to bleed easily with even the slightest impact on them. Children between the age group of 3 to 10 are most susceptible to suffer from nosebleeds.
Common causes of nosebleeds
Nosebleeds can be caused due to several reasons. Nosebleeds that occur every year at a particular time, are mainly due to seasonal changes. People who are vulnerable to dry weather suffer from nosebleeds. Dry weather is a very common cause of nosebleeds. Many people also suffer nosebleeds during the winter season. The nasal membranes dry in such weather, and causes the nose to bleed.
Nose bleeds, which occur suddenly, frequently, and do not stop easily is a serious concern.
Common causes of nosebleeds include:
- Dry air
- Cold air
- Foreign object stuck in nose
- Chemical irritants
- Repeated sneezing
- Nasal infection
- Picking the nose
Lesser common but serious causes of nosebleeds include:
- High blood pressure
- Blood clotting disorders
- Respiratory tract infection
- Bleeding orders
Most nosebleeds do not require medical intervention. But if the bleeding persists for more than 20-30 minutes or if the bleeding leads to other symptoms such as dizziness and headache, it is important to seek medical help. These could be the symptoms of a posterior nosebleed, which is a serious health problem.
Some people may suffer from nosebleeds after meeting with serious car accidents, fall from a height, or injury on the face. Profuse nosebleeds that occur after any such accident may indicate a skull fracture or internal bleeding.
Who diagnoses a nosebleed and how?
Generally, an ENT specialist diagnoses a bleed. But, if the nosebleed is caused due to any internal injury, the expert of the concerned medical specialisation may also diagnose the condition.
A nosebleed is commonly diagnosed by conducting a physical examination. There is no defined test to confirm a nose bleed. However, the doctor might use some imaging tests to find the cause of the nose bleeds. The tests include:
- nasal endoscopy
- CT scan of the nose
- X-ray of the face and nose
- Complete blood count (CBC)
Nosebleeds in kids
Nosebleeds in kids may be messy. Most often, there is no big deal, but other times, they can be worse than what they look like.
A kid may suffer from nosebleeds once in a while or often. In kids, bleeding happens near the front of the nose, on the septum, or starts from just one nostril. Sometimes, the nosebleed may also originate in the back of the nose. Since kids cannot describe what problem they are experiencing, any amount of nosebleeds in kids require proper diagnosis.
Deviated nasal septum and frequent nosebleeds
A deviated nasal septum may cause frequent nosebleeds. The septum is a soft wall in the nose that comprises bone and cartilage, that divides the nasal cavity into two. If the nasal septum is crooked or deviated to any one side compared to the other, it may cause bleeding or impact the sinus drainage.
How to stop nose bleeding?
If the nose bleeding is not caused by any serious injury, the following simple steps can help stop bleeding from the nose:
- Use a slightly wet clean cotton cloth, tissue, or cotton, and gently press the nostrils to soak the blood.
- Sit or stand up and tilt your head forward. Don’t tilt the head backwards. Doing so will cause the blood to run down your throat.
- Place an ice cube on the bridge of the nose to restrict the flow of the blood and stop the nose bleeding.
- Try breathing without pressuring your nose.
If your nose bleed continues even after doing the above-mentioned steps, or if you’re unable to stop the bleeding, go to a doctor.
How to prevent a nosebleed?
If you or your little one does get a nosebleed, here are some easy tips for prevention.
- Sit straight and lean forward. This will prevent the blood from going down your throat. If blood enters the throat, it may cause vomiting and choking.
- Pinch the fleshy part of the nose. Doing so helps in compressing the blood vessels and will stop bleeds.
- Do not pack any form of tissues or pads inside the nose to stop bleeds. Doing so may further irritate the blood vessels.
- Spray decongestant if you suffer from inflammation and nose congestion. It will prevent and slow down the bleeding.
- People who suffer from bleeding in dry weather should use a humidifier inside the house.
Nosebleeds are common and there is usually nothing to worry about. Most nosebleeds are anterior and can be treated at home. But, if the nosebleed is posterior, it is important to do a proper diagnosis.