Do you or a family member suffer from recurrent nosebleeds? One out of seven people can develop a nosebleed at some point in their life. Nosebleeds, or epistaxis, can be either anterior or posterior. The majority of nosebleeds are anterior, meaning that a blood vessel is typically bleeding at the very front of the nose. These types of nosebleeds are very common and easy to treat. Posterior nosebleeds are much less common and are caused by a bleeding site in the back of the nose. These types of nosebleeds typically require a trip to the emergency room to control.
What Are The Causes Of Nosebleeds?
Many people take NSAIDS such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen or are on blood thinners like Coumadin or Plavix. While these medications are necessary to treat certain medical conditions, they can also put you at risk for a nosebleed. They prevent your blood from clotting normally, which can then cause a tiny blood vessel in the nose to not stop bleeding.
And then there is the unforgivable winter climate we experience in Philadelphia. The dry heat in your home combined with the (frigid) cold air outside can increase your risk even more. When the lining of the nose becomes dry, the small blood vessels can crack and bleed. Any type of trauma to the nose can also cause a nosebleed. Elevated blood pressure can contribute to nosebleeds, as well.
How To Treat Nosebleeds?
Using over-the-counter saline nasal spray or gel 3-4 times a day can help provide moisture to your nose, reducing your risk of nosebleeds. A humidifier in your bedroom can also help with providing moisture to the air you breathe. If the bleeding site can be identified, a simple nasal cautery can be performed in the office to treat your nosebleed. You should, however, go to the hospital for nosebleeds if you are having persistent bleeding that cannot be stopped by pinching the nose for 15 minutes, repeated bleeds over a short period of time, or a feeling light-headedness or dizziness.
At Berger Henry ENT Specialty Group, our board-certified Otolaryngologists will examine your nose, identify the source of the nosebleed and stop the bleeding once and for all.