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Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds (also called epistaxis) represent a common problem especially among children.  Nosebleeds are usually limited in severity and duration. Nosebleeds can be categorized into two types: anterior nosebleeds and posterior nosebleeds.  Posterior nosebleeds are more likely to require medical attention.

What is a nosebleed?

Small blood vessels inside the cavity of the nose which break and bleed lead to what is usually known as nosebleeds. These frail blood vessels lie close to the surface of the inner cavity of the nose so they can easily be injured.

During winter months, nosebleeds become common because heated air dehydrates the inner surface of the nasal cavity which causes cracking of the surface, leading to the nose bleed. Nosebleeds can also be caused by picking the nose, trauma, or as a  a sign of several diseases.

Causes

There are numerous causes of nosebleeds including trauma, hypertension, clotting disorders, allergies, alcoholism,  and dryness during the winter season. Nosebleeds can also occur due to continuous use of certain medications like NSAIDs, nasal steroids, platelet aggregation inhibitors, and anticoagulants.

Rarely, nosebleeds can be caused by vascular malformations or cancers.  In these cases, there are usually other symptoms, such as  pain, nasal obstruction, or problems with the nerves that serve the face. 

Pathophysiology

When blood vessels are ruptured within the nasal mucosa, this causes nosebleeds. Malignancies, traumas, certain medications, or voluntary actions can also cause nose bleeding. Nose bleeding duration can be increased when blood pressure is elevated. Blood anticoagulant medicines and clotting disorders can also be the cause of the increase in bleeding episodes. Most simple nosebleeds occur in a highly vascular portion of the nose called Kiesselbach’s plexus.

Posterior nosebleeds include bleeding in the upper part of the inside fo the nose. If there is posterior bleeding from both nostrils the blood flow may be difficult to control.  In severe situations, blood draining down the throat can lead to problems with air intake.

Treatment

Constant direct pressure should be applied by pinching the nose high up the nose for at least 10 minutes so that bleeding can be controlled.

Medical providers can treat nosebleeds with packing devices or catheters, cautery, medications, or a combination of these methods.

Contact us

In case of urgent medical care assistance, AfterOurs Urgent Care offers immediate telemedicine services, where medical providers are available to offer assistance. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms requiring urgent medical attention can simply book their appointment with AfterOurs Urgent Care to directly talk to an expert. If your medical issue is not appropriate for telemedicine, we will let you know and refer you to an in-person facility.

When to visit a doctor:
If a nosebleed can not be stopped at home, seek the care of a medical provider in order to avoid possible complications.

Treatment for nose bleeding is available at AfterOurs Urgent Care.

For more information regarding nosebleeding, see the following website:
https://www.afteroursinc.com/