If our lives were a scary movie, ‘Nosebleed’ would be a signal to run. Fortunately, it is not. (Disclaimer: Please do NOT run if you get a Nosebleed. The above content is for humour purposes only) However, all jokes aside; a Nosebleed is a pretty basic reaction of your body towards something unusual. The causes may include dry climate, cold weather, or high blood pressure. The medical term for a Nosebleed is Epistaxis. It is quite common in children between the ages of 2 and 10 and older adults after the age of 50. So, instead of freaking out, just take a look at the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of your standard Nosebleed.
Symptoms of Nosebleed
The symptoms for Nosebleed are pretty self-explanatory. However, if you suffer from Hematophobia, you may also experience panic and a sudden urge to scream. Please don’t. It will be very embarrassing and highly unprofessional. Plus, you’ll never hear the end of it from your friends.
Types of Nosebleed
For you to understand the different types of Nosebleeds, it is important to know the exact causes. Our nose contains loads of tiny blood vessels in the front and back. If these blood vessels break, they start to bleed, which eventually causes your nose to bleed. Two types of Nosebleed include:
- Anterior Nosebleed: This happens when the blood vessels from the front of your nose break and start to bleed. These include the blood vessels present in the wall between your nostrils (Septum). This nosebleed is pretty common and can easily be treated at home with simple remedies and some prevention techniques.
- Posterior Nosebleed: This happens when the blood vessels from the back of the nose breaks and starts to bleed. These include the blood vessels present in the deep end of the nose, near the throat. This is usually rare and often requires medical help.
Causes of Nosebleed
Besides this, the common causes of Nosebleed include:
- Dry Climate: This is one of the common causes of Nosebleed. Using a central cooling system in a dry climate can dry out your nasal membrane – the tissues inside your nose. In this case, if you scratch or pick your nose, it will start to bleed.
- Cold Air: Cold air can also dry your nasal membrane, causing it to crust. As a result, this may cause your nose to bleed if picked harshly.
- High Altitudes: At high altitudes, the air becomes thinner and drier. This can dry out your nose, causing it to bleed.
Accidents or Injuries
- Injury: A serious hit to your face can break the tiny blood vessels inside the nose. This causes them to bleed, resulting in a Nosebleed. The extent of the injury will determine how severe the nosebleed. In the case of small injuries, it can easily be treated at home. However, in the case of severe injuries, the bleeding can be a result of a broken nose.
- Picking your Nose Too Hard: This is common in children. Most of the time, children pick their noses too hard causing the nose to start bleeding.
- Foreign Objects: While playing, children can put foreign objects, such as toys in their noses. This can damage the blood vessels causing them to bleed.
Chemicals and Medicines
- Chemical Irritants: Insecticides or chemical sprays can also cause your nose to dry up, resulting in a nosebleed.
- Blood-Thinner Medicines: Blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin or aspirin, can also cause your blood vessels to break easily.
Allergies and Diseases
- Sinus Infection: Inflammation of the Sinus can be a potential cause as well.
- Flu/Cold/Upper Respiratory Disorder: Blowing your nose repeatedly can cause friction, which can ultimately lead to Nosebleed.
- Blood Clotting/Bleeding Disease: Nosebleeds are common in people with a blood clotting disorder, such as Hemophilia or Von Willebrand disease. Although it is rare, bleeding disorders can cause these as well.
- High Blood Pressure: High Blood pressure can break the tiny blood vessels present in the nose. This causes them to bleed. This can easily be treated at home as well.
- Cancer: Chemotherapy can cause frequent nosebleeds as well.
- Allergies: Allergies or allergic reactions can cause your nose to dry out. This can also result in nosebleeds.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy can cause blood vessels to expand. This can put pressure on the fragile blood vessels in your nose. As a result, they break and start to bleed.
- Stress: People will anxiety disorder or depression usually have loads of stress. In a stressful situation, their blood pressure may increase, causing the fragile blood vessels to break.
When to Worry about a Nosebleed?
In all probability, there is no need to worry. Sudden nosebleeds are typically Anterior ones that can easily be treated at home. However, you should see a doctor if:
- Your bleeding does not stop in 20 minutes.
- Bleeding contains blood clots.
- The bleeding occurred after a serious injury, such as a car accident, or a fall.
- Your nose is bleeding heavily than normal (More than a cup).
- You get regular Nosebleeds. This can result from another serious medical condition.
- An infant or a baby gets a Nosebleed.
Diagnosis of Nosebleed
Firstly, your doctor will conduct a physical exam to find the cause of your nosebleed. In the case of a child, he will look for foreign objects or physical injury. Besides that, the diagnosis for Nosebleed include:
- X-Ray or CT Scan: An imaging test can show the place of injury or bleed.
- Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT): This is a blood test that shows how long it takes your blood to clot. This can tell if you have a blood clotting disorder or not.
- Nasal Endoscopy: This will show if you have a sinus or a nasal infection.
- Complete Blood Count (CBC): This blood test will check for blood disorders.
All in all, your doctor will try to diagnose your condition through different medical tests. The treatment for your nosebleed will depend on the final diagnosis.
How to Treat a Nosebleed?
Treatment for your nosebleed will depend on its type. You can either stop them at home with simple remedies or go to a doctor for medical treatment.
How to Stop Nosebleed at home?
A Sudden and infrequent nosebleed can easily be treated with simple home remedies. You can try the following to stop your nosebleed easily at home:
- Sitting upright and Titling your head forward. This will stop the blood from flowing down your throat. While doing this, squeeze the soft part of your nose for 10 minutes, or till the bleeding stops. This will put pressure on your nose and cause blood clotting. Besides that, it will also reduce blood pressure and stop the bleeding.
- Put some ice pack afterward to calm the swelling.
- Keep your nostrils moist by applying some lubricant to avoid further bleeding.
- If you have nosebleed on aa regular basis, try to adopt prevention techniques. This will help you stop your nose from bleeding in the future.
Medical Treatment for Nosebleed
If your nosebleed is a result of something serious, the treatment will vary according to the diagnosis. However, your doctor can suggest:
- Cauterization: The doctor burns your blood vessels to stop the bleeding. For this purpose, heating device or chemicals (Silver Nitrate) is used.
- Foreign Object Removal: If the nosebleed is caused by a foreign object, the doctor will try to remove it. In some cases, the object can easily be removed manually. However, sometimes very small objects can slide up the nose. In this case, surgery is needed to remove them.
- Nasal packing: Using a foam, cotton, gauge, or latex balloon can put pressure on the nose and stop the bleeding.
- Medication: If the cause of your nosebleed is blood-thinning drugs, then the doctor will ask you to reduce their quantity. Besides this, high blood pressure can be a potential cause as well. For this, you can take medicines to control your blood pressure.
- Surgical Repair: In case your nose is bleeding due to a severe injury, a surgical repair may be needed to fix the damages.
Some people have a sensitive nose that tends to dry out in harsh conditions. In this case, it is important to try prevention techniques to keep yourself safe. Here are a few tricks you can adopt to prevent yourself from a nosebleed:
- If you live in a dry climate area, keep a humidifier in your house. This will keep your air moist and stop your nose from drying out.
- Avoid picking your nose. You can use water to clean it every now and then.
- If you use aspirin, or other blood-thinning drugs regularly, try to limit their amount. However, consult your doctor before doing this.
- Keep some gel or nasal spray with you to stop your nose from drying out.
Here is your complete guide to Nosebleed, including causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Hopefully, it made nosebleeds sound a lot less scary than before. When the blood vessels inside your nose break, it causes your nose to bleed. This can be a result of dry weather, high blood pressure, or injuries. However, your nosebleed can be serious if it results from some underlying medical condition. In that case, you should immediately consult a doctor.
In normal conditions, you can easily treat your nosebleed at home with simple remedies and prevention techniques. Lastly, try to remain calm. Though it may seem, a Nosebleed is not the end of the world. Just put pressure on your nose and you’ll surely be fine.