The nose is prone to bleeding because it contains many small blood vessels. These arterioles help warm and moisturize the air you inhale. Since these vessels are near the surface, they are easy to injure.
Are Frequent Nosebleeds Dangerous?
Sometimes, nosebleeds originate from the larger vessels in the rear of the nose. This can be a serious health condition that may result after nose trauma. This symptom is most common in elderly patients with medical problems such as high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, atherosclerosis, or those who take aspirin every day. Typically, more serious nosebleeds are seen in older patients.
If the prolonged bleeding lasts longer than 20 minutes or occurs due to a nose trauma such as a punch or a fall, seek immediate medical attention. This is especially important if you believe your nose may be broken. At times, a nosebleed following an accident or a fall indicates possible internal bleeding.
Frequent nosebleeds can be a sign of medical problems. Common causes of nosebleeds include a clotting or bleeding disorder, an early symptom of Leukemia, or either a malignant or benign nasal tumor.
Common Causes of Nosebleeds
Dryness caused by indoor heated air and nose picking are the most common causes of nosebleeds. Typically, these two causes work together. When mucus inside the nose becomes dried out and crusty, picking is more likely to occur.
Less common causes of nosebleeds include nose trauma, allergic rhinitis, acute sinusitis, or the common cold. Sometimes, small children insert small objects up their noses. Elderly patients may have hardened arteries, high blood pressure, bleeding disorders or may be taking medication that interferes with blood clotting. In rare cases, frequent nosebleeds are caused by the genetic disorder HTT. Other times, there is no clear explanation for a nosebleed.
How to Prevent a Nose Bleed
- Keep fingernails short to discourage children (and adults) from picking.
- Run a humidifier overnight in each bedroom.
- Stop smoking.
- When you sneeze, make it a habit of opening your mouth.
Seek Medical Attention If…
- The prolonged nosebleed lasts longer than 20 minutes.
- The bleeding is a result of nose trauma, like getting hit in the face or a face downfall.
Nosebleeds can be common occurrences; it is normal to experience a nosebleed every so often as the weather changes or as you adjust to new temperatures. However, don’t hesitate to visit the doctor if you find you are having frequent, recurring nosebleeds; this could be a sign of a more serious condition.