Epistaxis: Don’t Let Nosebleeds Interrupt Your Life


Nosebleeds, also known as epistaxis, can range from minor to major depending on the location and severity of the injury. Both young children and adults may experience nosebleeds, and a nosebleed will result in loss of blood. Nosebleeding is a minor affliction, and it rarely leads toa life-threatening condition.

Nosebleed: symptoms and treatment options from Dr. GVK Chaitanya Rao

What is a nosebleed?

The surface of the nose contains many fragile blood vessels. Nosebleeds can happen in children easily because of the location of the nose and the proximity of blood vessels in the nose lining. Dry air and nose picking are common causes of epistaxis. Nosebleeds are usually classified into two main types based on the location of the bleeding: Anterior nosebleed and Posterior nosebleed.

What are the causes of a nosebleed?

  • Injury to the nose
  • Allergy
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Dry air
  • Nasal infection
  • Pricking
  • Sinusitis
  • Blowing nose forcefully
  • Chemical irritants
  • Frequent use of nasal sprays
  • Excess usage of aspirin
  • Deviated nasal septum
  • High blood pressure
  • Nasal polyps
  • Tumor
  • Atherosclerosis
  • bleeding disorders

What are the types of nasal bleeds?

Nosebleeds are typically classified into two categories: 

  1. Anterior nosebleeds
  2. Posterior nosebleeds

An anterior nosebleed is the most frequent type of nosebleed. It begins in the front of the nose on the lower part of the septum, which separates the two nasal passages. This type of nosebleed is often caused by the fragility of the capillaries and small blood vessels in this area, which are easily ruptured and bleed. Anterior nosebleeds are most common among children and can often be treated at home.

Posterior nosebleeds arise from deep inside the nose and are caused by bleeding in larger blood vessels in the back part of the nose near the throat. This type of nosebleed is often more serious than an anterior nosebleed. It can result in heavy bleeding that may flow down the back of the throat. Posterior nosebleeds are more common among adults and require immediate medical attention.

How to treat nosebleeds?

Quick and simple steps to stop a nosebleed.

  • Pinch the soft part of your nose with your index finger and thumb
  • Squeeze the pinched part of your nose towards your face bones
  • Lean forward slightly and tilt your head forward
  • Keep the pinch for 5 minutes
  • Repeat the process until the bleeding stops
  • Keep your head higher than your heart to reduce bleeding
  • Avoid lying down or putting your head between your legs
  • Stay calm and sit quietly
  • Apply an ice pack on your cheeks and nose

If the problem persists, consult an ENT specialist

When to seek medical attention for a nosebleed?

It is important to seek medical attention for a nosebleed under the following circumstances:

  • If the bleeding is uncontrollable
  • If the nosebleeds are recurrent
  • If the bleeding is excessive
  • If the patient feels weak or faints
  • If the nosebleed is a result of facial trauma
  • If the nosebleed is accompanied by a fever or headache
  • If an infant or toddler experiences a continuous nosebleed

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to consult a doctor, especially an ENT specialist, for proper diagnosis and treatment

How to prevent a nosebleed?

Here are some simple solutions to help prevent nosebleeds:

  • Use saline nasal sprays or drops regularly
  • Use a humidifier to keep the air humid
  • Apply water-soluble nasal gels or ointments
  • Avoid forceful nose blowing
  • Sneeze with an open mouth
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid nose pricking
  • Keep your fingernails short

By implementing these preventive measures, you can reduce your risk of experiencing nosebleeds and improve your overall nasal health.

Get the best treatment from Dr GVK Chaitanya Rao, member of American Rhinologic Society (ARS) and European Rhinologic Society (ERS). He is one of the few Indian ENT specialists to have undergone training in Advanced Sinus Surgery at IRCAD Taiwan. His special areas of interest include Nose & sinus surgeries, Otology, Snoring and sleep apnea surgeries.

About the author

Dr.GVK Chaitanya Rao | Best ent doctor hyderabad

Dr. Chaitanya Rao, Managing director at Dr. Rao’s ENT group of hospitals has 10 years experience in the field of ENT.

His special areas of interest include Nose & sinus surgeries, Otology, Snoring and sleep apnea surgeries. During his Post-graduation itself he was invited as a visiting physician to House Institute of Medical sciences, Los Angeles; Rhinology and Anterior skull base unit, Ohio State University Medical Centre, Columbus, Ohio and University of Michigan from where he picked up his skills.

He plays a key role (Course Director & co-ordinator) in giving hands on training to around 150 ENT surgeons every year from all around the world for initiating and improving their ENT surgical skills as a part of Hyderabad ENT Research Foundation initiatives.

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