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August 25, 2017 | Ear, Nose, Throat
Known in medical terms as epistaxes, nosebleeds involve bleeding from the inside of the nose. Plenty of people have infrequent nosebleeds, especially younger children and older adults.
Nosebleeds can be frightening at times, especially for kids, but in most cases they’re not dangerous and are mostly just an annoyance. In rarer cases, they may be frequent (more than one per week) or may cause serious medical issues. Here’s everything you need to know about nosebleeds, including their common causes and how to treat and prevent them.
The nose contains numerous blood vessels, located close to the surface in the front and back of the nose. These vessels are fragile, and can bleed easily. There are two kinds of nosebleeds:
There are numerous causes of nosebleeds, with dry air and nose-picking functioning as the two most common. Dry air can lead to nasal membranes (tissues inside the nose) drying out, which causes crusting inside the nose. Crusting then becomes irritated or itchy, and scratching or picking can cause bleeding. Medications for allergies, colds and sinus issues may also cause dry nasal membranes.
Other causes of nosebleeds may include:
Less common causes may include:
If you seek medical attention for a nosebleed, you’ll undergo a physical examination so your doctor can determine the cause. There is no single determining method here, but they might use one of a few different tests:
For occasional nosebleeds, a few self-care treatment steps include:
A few tips to help prevent nosebleeds include:
If these home methods are unable to stop a nosebleed for you or your child, or if you have frequent nosebleeds, seek medical attention. Your doctor can offer treatment recommendations for chronic nosebleeds or nosebleeds that won’t stop.
“Nosebleeds.” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/nosebleeds/basics/definition/sym-20050914
“What Causes Nosebleed?” HealthLine. http://www.healthline.com/symptom/nosebleed
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.