A nosebleed can catch you off-guard and require immediate attention at the most inconvenient times. Most nosebleeds aren’t serious, and self-care treatments can be used at home without the need for medical treatment. Do you experience frequent nosebleeds? If they are happening often, then it might be time to talk to a doctor about treatment options.
Nosebleed Risk Factors
When a nosebleed happens, it means that you are actively losing blood through the tissue lining in your nose. The nose contains many blood vessels that are close to the surface, so they are more easily injured compared to vessels that are protected by thicker skin in other areas of the body. Sometimes it affects both nostrils, but nosebleeds most often happen in just one nostril.
Everyone experiences a few nosebleeds here and there, but some people are more prone to common issues. Risk factors include:
· Age: nosebleeds are more common in older adults
· High blood pressure
· Daily aspirin use or other blood thinner medications
· Bleeding disorders
· Common cold
· Low humidity and dry weather
· Dependence on oxygen treatments
· Deviated septum
· Use of blood-thinning medication
· Alcohol abuse
· Kidney or liver disease
· Sniffing cocaine
· Frequent nose picking
· Trauma to the nose
The risk of nosebleeds can go up with certain health conditions, medications, and even based on the physical structure of the nasal passages. Also, don’t underestimate the role that dry weather can play in the development of nosebleeds. Not only does the air dry out the nasal passages, but it also causes the nose mucus to become crusty and dry – which increases the likelihood of picking.
At-Home Remedies: Treatment and Prevention
If you have a history of frequent nosebleeds, then a few lifestyle changes might help to reduce the frequency of these problems. For example, try using a humidifier at night to add moisture to the air. Also, cigarette use can increase the risk of nosebleeds, so you should quit smoking. Some people find it helpful to keep the inside of the nose moist by using a saline nasal spray or applying petroleum jelly with a cotton swab.
Follow these first-aid tips when a nosebleed occurs:
· Keep your head above the heart to slow the bleeding
· Lean forward slightly so the blood comes to the front of the nose, instead of draining down the back of the throat (which can cause stomach irritation)
· Blow your nose gently to clear clotted blood that might be present
· Pinch your nose to put pressure on the bleeding point, which can help to stop the flow of blood
· Stay calm since a nervous response can increase your heart rate and make you bleed more
When the bleeding stops, be careful to avoid anything that might make the bleeding start again, such as blowing your nose or bending over.
When to Seek Medical Attention
There are two reasons why you might consider talking to a doctor about nosebleeds: inability to stop the bleeding, or frequency of the occurrence. Immediate medical treatment might be required if you experience any of these symptoms:
· You have a nosebleed that won’t stop after 20 or 30 minutes
· A nosebleed is caused by injury or trauma, such as a car accident or hit to the face
· A greater than expected amount of blood is coming out
· Nosebleeds in children under the age of 2
It is smart to have someone drive you to the emergency room instead of driving yourself. If you are losing a lot of blood, then you might be at risk of passing out.
Smaller, frequent nosebleeds can also be a concern. With these nosebleeds, emergency treatment usually isn’t required. But it is smart to schedule a consultation with an experienced ENT to identify the underlying cause of the symptoms. The frequency of these symptoms could indicate a more serious problem, such as a blood disorder, nasal tumor, cancer, and more.
What to Expect from an ENT Exam?
What should you expect when you meet with an ENT about nosebleeds? The first step is to identify where the bleeding is happening in your nose. You will need to answer questions about your nosebleed history and how the blood flows when it occurs. Additionally, an examination of the nose will be performed.
Sometimes, cauterization is recommended to stop vessels from bleeding. Medication is used to numb the nose, and then a special electrical heating device is used to burn the vessel.
Emergency treatment for nosebleeds might include posterior nasal packings, which are left in for 2 – 3 days before professional removal.
Talk to an ENT for Personalized Recommendations
You might be able to find treatment information online, but nothing beats a face-to-face conversation with a local medical professional. An exam is essential to rule out underlying causes that might be a serious concern. Also, this exam can help you identify the most effective treatments to minimize the risk of nosebleeds in the future.
If you suffer from frequent nosebleeds, then we invite you to contact our team to schedule an appointment. We provide services to patients in the Collin County or Dallas areas. At Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat, our experienced team is here to answer your questions and assist with an effective treatment plan. We offer two local offices in Frisco and Plano, TX: (972) 596-4005