Nosebleeds are fairly common — about 60% of the U.S. population has experienced them, according to research — but they aren’t usually cause for alarm. Most can be addressed with at-home remedies. Those of a more severe or chronic nature, however, may require professional intervention from an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist. Learn more about nosebleeds below.
What Is a Nosebleed?
A nosebleed or epistaxis is a loss of blood from one or more of the blood vessels in the nasal cavity. The interior of the nose includes hundreds of tiny blood vessels, and when they’re broken or damaged, they bleed. This may occur more often among young children and seniors, but anyone can be affected.
What Causes Nosebleeds?
Nosebleeds go hand in hand with nasal dryness. Being in extremely dry air or a dry climate, for example, or living at high altitudes can cause your sinuses to dry out and bleed.
Other causes can include:
- Nose or facial injury
- Deviated septum
- Heavy nose-blowing
- Hemophilia or other bleeding disorders
- Foreign object in the nose
- Illicit drug use through the nose
- High blood pressure
- Certain medications
How Are Nosebleeds Treated?
Typically a bloody nose can be effectively addressed at home by applying direct pressure for a short while. Simply lean forward while sitting down and gently pinch the nostrils for about 10 minutes to help control and stop the bleeding. If still bleeding after the first several minutes, repeat the process another 10 minutes.
- Stuffing the nose with tissue, which can potentially do more harm than good
- Blowing or picking the nose after getting the bleeding to stop
When Should I Seek Professional Medical Attention?
It’s important to seek medical help immediately if bleeding continues after 20 minutes or if you’re experiencing nosebleeds more than once a week. Frequent bloody noses can be a symptom of a more serious issue. Our ENT professionals can perform a diagnostic exam, explain what’s happening with your nose, and tailor a treatment to your specific needs.
For more information on nosebleeds or to schedule an appointment, don’t wait. Contact the expert team at ENT Physicians and Surgeons today.