Is a Nosebleed a Serious Condition?

Is a Nosebleed a Serious Condition?

Nosebleeds can be scary, but they aren’t typically a sign of anything dangerous and can be treated at home.
The medical term for a nosebleed is epistaxis.

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. During a nosebleed, blood flows from one or both nostrils. It can be heavy or light and last from a few seconds to 15 minutes or more.

Causes of nosebleeds

Nosebleeds can be caused by various things. The possibility to recognise the specific cause of why one occurs cannot be determined sometimes.

Nosebleeds can begin just inside your nostrils (anterior) or at the back of your nose (posterior). There are different causes for different types of nosebleeds.

Anterior nosebleeds

Anterior nosebleeds are common, which means the bleeding happens on the wall between the two nostrils (the lower septum), just inside your nose. This section of the nose, known as Little’s area which holds many fragile blood vessels that can be easily damaged.

The cause of anterior nosebleeds is sometimes unknown, few causes include

  • picking your nose with a sharp fingernail
  • blowing your nose very hard
  • a minor injury to your nose
  • a blocked or stuffy nose usually caused by an infection such as a cold or flu
  • sinusitis 
  • allergies
  • extreme use of nasal decongestants

Anterior nosebleeds are more common in children and are normally not serious. They can often be treated easily at home.

Posterior nosebleeds

Posterior nosebleeds mean the bleeding arises from branches of arteries that provide blood to the area inside your nose between the roof of your mouth and your brain (nasal cavity).

These nosebleeds are more common in adults than children. They can be more dangerous than anterior nosebleeds and bleed more heavily. 

Medical attention may be required and one suffering from posterior nosebleeds can contact or visit angletoner for emergency and expert treatment 

Some causes of posterior nosebleeds include:

  • Fall or Blow to your head
  • Broken nose
  • Nasal surgery
  • hardened arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Tumour
  • Haemophilia or von Willebrand disease
  • Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) 

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

Treatment to stop a nosebleed:

  • Sit and tightly pinch the soft part of your nose, just above your nostrils, for at least 10-15 minutes
  • Lean forward and breathe within your mouth which will drain blood into your nose instead of down the back of your throat
  • Place an ice pack on the bridge of your nose
  • Stay upright don’t lying down, as this decreases the blood pressure in the blood vessels of your nose and will control further bleeding
  • 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.

If the bleeding won’t stop, seek medical advice. Visit AngletonER

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.