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What Are The Causes of Nosebleeds?

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The following are some of the major causes of nosebleeds:-

- the inability of the blood to clot due to blood thinning medication such as aspirin;

- liver disease;

- thinning of the membranes inisde the nose causing the vessels to be close to the surface;

- these are rare -- nasal cancers and abnormal blood vessels;

- high blood pressure -- this is very rarely a main contributing factor;

- scratching the inside of the nose, particularly if it is dry and crusty.

Naturally, parents are very concerned if their child has a nosebleed and want to know if they should make a trip to the hospital.

The following is the criteria for deciding on whether a visit to the hospital is necessary or not:-

- the nose is still bleeding significantly after 10 minutes of pressure on the nose;

- you are having repeated episodes;

- you are feeling dizzy or lightheaded and feeling like you are going to pass out;

- rapid heart beat or trouble breathing;

- spitting up or vomiting blood.

An excessive loss of blood from a nosebleed does not usually happen. Regardless of the fact that you might not be losing much blood, you should do everything you can to immediately stop the flow. I should warn you that if the nosebleed is originating from the posterior region, as opposed to the anterior, then the blood flow can be quite extensive and it has to be stopped as soon as possible. The anterior bleed is much easier to handle.

The following are a few suggestions to aid in stopping the bleeding:-

- pinch the nose for at least 10 minutes, making sure that you do not let go during that entire time;

- put an icepack on the back of the neck;

- always lean forward otherwise the blood will trickle down the back of your throat;

- do the best you can to remain calm;

- roll some toilet paper up in a wad and pack the nostril; leave it in for a while.

There are two opposing thoughts if it comes to whether you should blow your nose during a nosebleed. I always thought it was best not to blow. In any case, I changed my mind after having a very heavy flowing posterior bleed that necessitated calling an ambulance. The attendants had me periodically blow my nose very gently to get rid of the large clots that were accumulating. We had to do this quite a few times before things started to slow down. The first time you experience a posterior nosebleed, it can be quite scary and let me reiterate that it is essential to not start to panic and remain as calm as possible. All you want to do at this moment, is concentrate on stopping the bleeding.

I recommend that you get your family doctor to refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist if you are are having posterior nosebleeds and also if you are having frequent anterior ones that are difficult to easily stop. Hopefully, the doctor will be able to determine the cause and institute a treatment plan.

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