Epistaxis, or nose bleeding, is a condition in which blood flows from your nose. The bleeding usually occurs in the anterior of the nose, which is the part above the nostril, where soft tissue is located. Bleeding is often seen here because the area has plenty of small blood vessels. These vessels are susceptible to rupture and bleeding when the area becomes inflamed or irritated.
However, posterior nosebleeds can also occur, but less often in children. Compared to anterior nosebleeds, posterior ones are more serious because the bleeding is heavy and prolonged. The blood from nose bleeds can be light or heavy. The color can also differ from light red to dark red. The bleeding can be caused by external factors, such as trauma to the nose during a physical fight. However, some causes are unknown.
Nosebleeds are common medical problems in the population. Many people have experienced at least one nosebleed in their life. However, some people experience frequent nosebleeds. Head and neck doctors in Los Angeles categorize these as chronic nosebleeds. They advise seeking a chronic nosebleed specialist Los Angeles to determine the cause of the frequent nosebleeds. Addressing the cause in such cases will help prevent future nosebleeds.
Although nose bleeding can scare many people, they are not a cause for alarm because they are not serious. According to head and neck doctors in Los Angeles, nosebleeds usually last roughly 15 minutes. However, they can last for only a few seconds. The bleeding stops after a while if you get proper first aid measures.
There are many causes of nosebleeds. More than often, anything irritating your nose triggers the bleeding. Causes of nose irritation include:
- Breathing in dry air or air with low humidity.
- Nose picking. This often causes nose bleeds if you have long nails.
- Nasal polyps. These are small growths that occur in your nose lining or sinuses.
- Nasal allergies.
- Colds, flu, sinusitis, and any nose infection.
- Physical trauma to the face or nose.
Other causes include cancer, high blood pressure, blood-thinning medications, hemophilia, and some heart diseases. Furthermore, prolonged use of nasal sprays and decongestants can also cause nosebleeds. Structural changes in the shape of the nose can also cause nosebleeds. These can occur due to congenital defects, surgery, or injuries.
When you have a nosebleed, you should perform some first aid measures that will help you stop the bleeding. A Los Angeles nosebleed doctor will advise first aid procedures such as:
- Firmly pinch the soft region of the nose for 10 to 15 minutes while you are sitting.
- In that position, lean your head forward and breathe with your mouth. This prevents the drainage of blood to the back of your throat.
- Apply a cold compression on your nose bridge for a few minutes.
- Sit upright during the entire period of the nosebleed. This helps reduce bleeding by reducing pressure on your nose’s blood vessels.
These procedures normally suffice in stopping the bleeding within minutes. However, if the bleeding does not stop, it is a sign that you should seek the services of a chronic nosebleed specialist Los Angeles.
When Should I Call the Doctor About Nosebleeds?
Not all nosebleeds need you to seek epistaxis treatment Los Angeles. If your nosebleed stops after performing the above first aid measures, there is no need for a doctor. However, some nosebleed situations may need epistaxis treatment Los Angeles. They include:
- Prolonged nose bleeding
A normal nosebleed should last up to 15 minutes. When the bleeding lasts 20 minutes or more after you apply pressure, it is a sign that you should call a chronic nosebleed specialist Los Angeles.
- Nose bleeding due to trauma
Severe types of trauma are a reason to call your doctor about nose bleeding. Car or skiing accidents and physical fights are some causes of severe trauma to your head and nose. They can cause a broken nose that needs emergency services from head and neck doctors in Los Angeles. This is because the trauma can lead to complications like swelling of the nose over time that will hinder your breathing.
- Nose bleeding leading to a lot of blood loss
Some nosebleeds can make you or your child lose a lot of blood. The nosebleed does not need to be necessarily prolonged for the blood loss to be of concern. The amount of blood flowing from the nose can indicate if you are losing too much blood. Additionally, some nosebleeds occur with other symptoms such as coughing up and vomiting blood. These increase blood loss. You can also identify excessive blood loss using signs such as dizziness and pale skin. People on blood-thinning medication like warfarin and aspirin and hemophilia patients are often likely to lose a lot of blood.
- Nose bleeding that interferes with breathing
Some nose bleeding can hinder your ability to breathe. The blood can cause congestion of the nose with blood, making it hard for you to breathe. The accumulation of clotted blood can also interfere with breathing. Laying down during a nosebleed can also affect the airway and prevent you from breathing.
- Nosebleeds that occur with concerning symptoms
Nose bleeding should occur on its own. When it is accompanied by symptoms such as fever and headaches, it is a concern, and you should call your doctor.
- Frequent nose bleeding
Frequent nosebleeds with no cause are also a cause of alarm. Call your doctor if you frequently experience nosebleeds due to factors such as polyps or hypertension. In such situations, epistaxis treatment a Los Angeles nosebleed doctor focuses on treating the underlying cause of the nose bleeds. If the frequent nosebleeds are due to blood-thinning medications like aspirin, ask your doctor about wait times and methods.
- Nose bleeding in infants is also a cause for alarm. Bleeding of the nose should not occur in children below two years.
Taking preventive measures for nosebleeds is the best way to prevent future nosebleeds. However, you should first identify the cause of your nosebleeds. For example, if you get nose bleeding due to dry air, get a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home or office.
At-home remedies may not be enough; consult a doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms with your nosebleed.