Bleeding from Nose (Epistaxis)
Nose is actually rather vulnerable to injuries. A trauma on the face can cause injury to the nose and result in nosebleed (medically called epistaxis). Depending on the site and the extent of an injury, this bleeding can be minor or major.
Causes of Nosebleed
- Trauma that can also be self-inflicted through actions such as nose picking. This is more common in children
- Blowing the nose very hard
- A minor injury to the nose
- When nasal membrane becomes overly dry and cracks open letting out blood
Infection i.e. rhinosinusitis
- Nosebleeds are extremely common in very dry climates whether summer or winter.
- If a person is on anticoagulant or blood-thinning medicine such as warfarin or aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs, even minor injury can cause heavy nosebleeds.
- Allergic and non-allergic rhinitis
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Alcohol abuse
- Pregnant women undergoing hormonal changes
- In rare cases, nosebleeds can be due to tumours or inherited bleeding disorders.
Precautions & Treatments
- A common nosebleed can be easily treated and does not require help from a doctor. The correct first aid steps should be followed as mentioned below: –
- Use the index finger and thumb to pinch together the soft part of the nose.
- Compress the pinched part of the nose towards the face bones.
- Lean forward a bit and tilt the head forward as well. This will stop blood from running back into sinuses and throat which can lead to gagging or inhalation of blood.
- Keep on holding the pinched nose for minimum 5 minutes. Repeat the entire process until nosebleed stops.
- Keep the head higher than the level of the heart. Do not lie down. Do not put head between the legs. Just sit quietly.
- Wrap some ice in a towel and place it on cheeks and nose.
- Visit an ENT physician for a check-up if the problem recurs.
If the following symptoms are observed then one must visit the hospital immediately: –
- If the bleeding is unstoppable or keeps happening again and again.
- If the bleeding is heavy and the blood loss seems considerable.
- If the patient is feeling faint or weak.
- If the nosebleed is happening due to facial trauma or is accompanied by loss of consciousness or blurred vision.
- If the nosebleed is occurring with a fever or a headache
- If an infant or toddler gets a nosebleed, visit a paediatrician.