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A common phenomenon that occurs without notifying or alarming you with signals of it’s incoming is the nosebleed. Though they appear scary, yet they do not pose any serious threat to your health. Nose is made up of blood vessels that are located adjacent to the surface both at the front and also at the back of your nose. Owing to its extremely fragile skin, it can easily bleed. Mostly children and adults of age 3-10 are prone to nosebleeds.
Nosebleeds are two types, the one being anterior and the other being posterior. Anterior nosebleeds occur when the blood vessels present in the nose front break thereby causing a nosebleed. On the other hand, posterior nosebleed occurs in the nose deepest part or simply the back of the nose. In such a scenario, blood can flow beneath the nose to the throat. Considering this, it is not surprising to state that posterior nosebleeds are majorly dangerous and can cause life-threatening indications.
What Causes Nosebleeds?
Having said what nosebleed is, now we head towards the various causes that lead to bleeding in the nose. An infrequent nosebleed is not severe and rarely induce life threat. In case you experience frequent nosebleeds, then this might suggest some severe health condition.
Some of the major and the most common cause of nosebleed include:
1. Serious Health Condition
Several diseases such as liver disease, kidney disease, consumption of chronic alcohol and other significant health issues cause bleeding in the nose. The above can be justified by the fact that all those diseases can reduce the ability of the blood to clot and hence bleeding occurs in the nose.
Several heart conditions such as high blood pressure, or heart failure promote nosebleeds. Also, a hypertensive crisis which is defined as the sudden and the rapid increase of the blood pressure as accompanied by breath shortness, mild headache, and anxiety leads to a nosebleed. This has been affirmed by the American Heart Association.
Also, few allergies, cold. and repetitive nose blowing is seen to irritate the lining beneath the nose thereby leading to a nosebleed.
2. Dry Air
Dry air is the most common cause resulting in a nosebleed. Either living in a cold climate or the exposure to the central heating system leads to drying of the nasal membrane. These membranes are present inside the tissues of the nose lining. In case these issues dry up, then it leads to crusting which is largely itch and induces a sense of uneasiness. If you scratch or pick your nose multiple times, it leads to bleeding.
Several medical experts believe that the intake of medicine such as the antihistamines or the decongestant to treat colds, allergies or other nose problems result into a nosebleed due to dryness. Be it outdoor cooling or an indoor heating, frequent bleeding is dangerous. You can try using a humidifier to soothe dryness while you sleep soundly.
3. Medication Taken for Blood Thinning
Medications, such as anticoagulants (used as a blood thinner), anti-inflammatory drugs that are majorly non-steroidal, and aspirin taken to treat pain, are primarily responsible for nosebleeds.
Since the significant factor that contributes to stopping a nosebleed is the blood clotting, medications that infer this or changes the capability of blood to clot leads to bleeding in the nose.
Several examples include anticoagulants such as the Jantoven, Coumadin or the OTC drug such as the Aspirin makes it harder for the blood to clot. Many individuals who suffer from severe heart condition namely the atrial fibrillation that is specified by an irregular heartbeat are found to consume anticoagulants which are largely responsible for preventing the blood clots. Several medical experts advise people who have had a heart attack to take aspirin on a daily basis to deter the risk of a heart attack. This is primarily because blood clots can lead to heart stroke or even an attack if the same reach to the brain or heart via blood.
However, the advised medication though prevents heart attack, leads to bleeding in the nose.
4. Frequent Scratching and Pricking Of Nose
Another significant cause of the nosebleed is repetitive pricking of the nose. Injuries in the nostril or the vessel of the nostril can result in a nosebleed. This is mostly common among children, however, adults who have this habit of continuously pricking their nose suffer from a nosebleed.
All of the above were the most commonly occurring cause that leads to a nosebleed. However, there are few other not so common causes that you must be aware of so that you can take proper measure to combat the same.
5. A Nose Injury:
Many times, a nose that is broken or has a crack inside the inner lining of the nose leads to bleeding.
6. Foreign Body Inside:
This is the most common cause of nose bleeding in children. They are highly prone to playing with objects that are dangerous. By the term foreign object, we mean to say an element which naturally should not be present but has accidentally entered your nose. And to make it worse, it not just adds discomfort or a nosebleed but can also be life-threatening.
7. Allergic Rhinitis:
Another major cause of the bleeding in the nose is hay fever that is majorly due to the body’s response to various allergens. Nose bleeding is one of the common symptoms to show the presence of Allergic Rhinitis.
8. High Blood Pressure:
This is the most commonly occurring phenomenon that causes nose bleeding. Though hypertension is considerably silent, yet an excess level of the same leads to an array of symptoms out of which nose bleeding is the most common. Only in severe cases, do high blood pressure results into nose bleed. You should not delay visiting a doctor once you notice symptoms indicating a high blood pressure.
9. A drop in the platelet count:
Commonly, it is seen that whenever your body is broken or largely injured, the platelet join together to form clusters which in turn leads to blood and hinder bleeding. However, in a case when your body does not have many platelets, if there is a drop in the total platelet count in your body, the same is not capable of forming blood clots and so leads to bleeding. A reduction in the platelet count is a serious condition, and you should never wait for the symptom to treat the same.
10. Bleeding disorder:
Bleeding disorder is a condition when your body experiences abnormal bleedings both inside and outside the body. Here, the body blood loses its capability to clot which in turn leads to nose bleeding. This is an alarming signal to visit the doctor as soon as possible. No symptom should be left untreated as this could cost your life.
Another major cause of nosebleed is the risk of cancer.
If your nose bleeds lasts for more than twenty minutes then it’s high time, you should consult a doctor as early as possible. In case, the nosebleed occurs owing to an external injury, even then you should visit a doctor.
Diagnosing For Nosebleeds
In case you opt for medical help for your nosebleed, your doctor would undertake a physical examination to rule out the causes. Starting from the doubt of the presence of a foreign object to studying your medical history, the doctor would unveil all.
Let your doctor know about any present or past injury that hit your nose and could be the possible reason behind a nosebleed. Though there are no specific tests to find out the cause of a nosebleed, yet your doctor might refer a blood routine and in severe cases suggest an x-ray or CT scan of your nose. Also, the treatment of the nosebleed largely varies depending on the type, either interior or posterior and majorly the causes behind the bleeding in the nose.
How to Prevent Nosebleeds?
It is always better to be safe than to cure. Few of the preventive measures are:
- Using a humidifier to prevent dry air inside your house.
- Refrain from scratching or pricking your nose.
- Using a spray to keep the nasal membrane moist.
- Restricted intake of anticoagulants such as aspirin.
Predominantly, the bleeding in the nose is not a serious issue and can be effectively treated at home; however, if it persists for longer hours or does not stop even after proper treatment, then you should visit the doctor at the earliest possible time. Mostly the posterior nosebleeds are severe and seek medical treatment. Never ignore any such symptoms as it could lead to major health problems if left untreated. Always seek medical aid in case you feel an unusual behavior in the patient or if the nosebleed is accompanied by any other alarming indication.