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NOSE BLEED (EPISTAXIS)

Overview

  • A nose bleed occurs when a small vein, along the lining of nose, bursts 

  • Most nosebleeds look scary, but are harmless 

  • Can be treated at home 

  • Common in children/elderly 

Causes

  • Dryness 

  • Nose picking 

  • Blowing nose with force 

  • Use of medications, like aspirin 

  • Introducing objects into nose         (mostly children) 

  • Injuries 

  • Allergies 

  • Infections 

  • High BP 

  • Atherosclerosis 

  • Blood-clotting disorders 

  • Use of cocaine 

Symptoms

  • Bleeding from nose 

  • Sometimes bleeding from ears/mouth too 

Types



a. Anterior Nosebleed 

  • Affects lower part of wall that separates nostrils 

  • The wall or septum contains blood vessels 

  • These can be broken by blow to nose/fingernail 

  • The bleeding starts from front of nose 

  • It flows outward when patient is sitting/standing 

  • Occurs during dry season/harsh winter 

b. Posterior Nosebleed 

  • The bleeding starts deep within the nose 

  • It flows down the back of the mouth & throat 

  • This happens even when the person is sitting/standing 

  • Occurs in old people/those with high BP/injuries 

  • This type of bleeding is severe/ requires medical help 

Treatment

  • If your nose bleeds,

  • Sit down and lean forward 

  • Using your thumb & index finger, squeeze soft part of nose 

  • This part is between end of nose and the bridge of nose 

  • Continue holding till bleeding stops- 

  • Do not stop in-between 

  • If bleeding continues, hold for another 10 minutes 

  • If the patient is a child, divert attention by TV/Stories 

  • Avoid picking, blowing or rubbing nose for 2 days 

  • Place an ice pack on the bridge of nose 

Consult a Doctor

If,

  • The bleeding continues for more than 15 minutes

  • The bleeding is caused by an injury 

  • You get nosebleeds often

Prevention 

  • Keep fingernails short

  • Quit smoking

  • Open your mouth while sneezing

  • Use a humidifier at night in case of dry weather