Nosebleeds are a common condition in adults and children. Although most spontaneously resolve, it is advisable to get your nosebleeds checked if it happens frequently or if you have a family history of nose cancer.
There are two main types of nosebleeds one can experience:
- Anterior nosebleed: blood trickling down the front of your nose or nostrils.
- Blood-stained sputum or nasal mucus: This requires early evaluation of your post-nasal space to exclude any nasal tumours.
CAUSES OF NOSE BLEEDS
Nosebleeds can be caused by various reasons, including nose picking which is common in children, injury to the nose, foreign bodies in the nose, high altitudes, or sinusitis. Sinister cause of nose bleeds are nasopharyngeal cancer and nasal tumours. Nosebleeds can also be caused by other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, or if one is on blood thinners like aspirin or warfarin.
For minor nosebleeds, first aid measures are useful. A common practice is to pinch the nose over the cartilaginous nares while keeping your body leant forward and breathing through your mouth. Hold for approximately 15 minutes or till the bleeding stops.
For more severe cases, medical assistance will be necessary, so as to prevent further complications. Some medical treatments that can help your nosebleeds can include:
- Nasal packing
- Adjusting the prescription of current medications
- Removal of foreign body (if present)
- Surgery – cautery, artery ligation or correction of a septal deflection
Here are a few steps you can follow to prevent frequent nosebleeds:
- Make use of a saline nasal spray or topical nasal gel to keep nasal passages moist in low humidity conditions.
- Use an air humidifier
- Avoid blowing your nose with excessive force
- Watch children to prevent nasal foreign body insertion.
- Patients on blood thinning medications should practice first aid measures for longer to arrest any simple bleeds.