Posts tagged nosebleeds
When an adult experiences a sudden nosebleed with no apparent cause, there could be many things that triggered it. While unexplained nosebleeds might seem serious, in most cases they aren’t.
If it turns out that there’s a specific medical condition that triggered the nosebleed, your physician will advise you on what steps to take next. If you regularly experience unexplained nosebleeds, you should notify your doctor, so that they can give you an accurate diagnosis of the causes of your nosebleeds. In this article, we will examine some of the most common causes of a sudden nosebleed, and how to treat and prevent this condition.
Quick Fix: Buy a Humidifier
Sometimes the cause of a sudden nosebleed can be something as simple as very dry air brought about by constant indoor heating. Dry air is a relatively common situation in cold weather when a heating system might be running for most of the day, with no humidifier at work to restore moisture.
Nosebleeds can also occur when someone is exposed to cold weather for a prolonged period. Both these scenarios cause the lining of the nose to dry out, crack and bleed. To prevent the indoor heating cause, you can make sure your home is adequately humidified, especially during the cold season when the heat is on. For someone who has to spend long hours outdoors, the best preventive measure is to use a nasal spray which artificially moistens the inner lining of the nose.
Underlying Medical Conditions
There are certain medical conditions which inhibit your body’s ability to form blood clots, and that can trigger nosebleeds at virtually any time. Kidney disease, liver disease, and persistent excess consumption of alcohol can all act to interfere with clotting and induce a sudden nosebleed.
This condition can also be caused by congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and hypertensive crisis, which is a sudden blood pressure escalation coupled with anxiety, breathing difficulty, and an intense headache. There are also some very common medical conditions which can contribute to the triggering of nosebleeds, such as colds and allergies, as well as just blowing your nose frequently. All these can severely irritate the nasal lining, and trigger spontaneous nosebleeds.
Blood Thinners and NSAIDs
Many medications which are used to treat pain can have the side effect of triggering nosebleeds. Included in this category are aspirin, anticoagulant medications, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Blood thinners like these inhibit the body’s ability to generate clots, and that means they can not only cause a nosebleed but can make it much harder to stop one that has started.
These kinds of medications are often prescribed for someone who has an irregular heartbeat, or someone who has had an actual heart attack. Since blood clots can cause a stroke or heart attack if they travel through the body and lodge near the brain or heart, people with heart conditions are often prescribed blood thinning medications which act to deter clotting.
Persistent Nose Scratching
The cause for a nosebleed can sometimes be a little more obvious, such as the case for someone who is constantly picking or scratching. This kind of activity can easily injure blood vessels in the nostrils, causing nosebleeds that seem to come out of nowhere. This kind of nosebleed is most common with small children.
What to Do With a Sudden Nosebleed
Most nosebleeds can be stopped or treated at home, without the need to seek medical treatment. If home treatment methods fail to get it under control, you should find medical attention, even though such situations are rarely life-threatening.
One technique for stopping a nosebleed is to sit down and lean forward, using direct pressure against the nostrils to pinch them closed for approximately 10 minutes. During that span, you’ll have to breathe through your mouth. It may also help to spray your nostrils with a nasal decongestant, because that constricts the blood vessels, and limits blood flow through the nose.
Once you have stopped the nosebleed, you can prevent it from recurring by using topical ointments and saline inside the nostrils. And of course, you should avoid any further irritation of the nose from scratching or nose-picking.
Especially for patients who take blood thinners, medical attention is their best option. These anticoagulants will decrease the body’s ability to clot and stop the nosebleed, and talking to your doctor will help them modify the dosage of any blood-thinning medication you might be taking or change it altogether.
If you have more than one nosebleed in the same week, that’s a definite sign that you should talk to your doctor. In most cases, sudden unexplained nosebleeds are not serious medical conditions, but when they happen more frequently in a short timeframe, they can be warning signs of more concerning health conditions.
Pregnancy can bring about a barrage of changes, experiences and symptoms. For many expectant mothers, nosebleeds can be one of those things. It is not often brought up with the subject of pregnancy, but it can certainly happen. Nosebleeds are not normally dangerous, but they can make a new mom nervous; at the very least, it is an unpleasant side effect. The instance where a woman may need to seek medical attention is if the bleeding does not stop within half an hour. However, for the most part, this is nothing serious or something to be nervous about, and there are things that can be done to lessen the occurrences.
So, why are nosebleeds common during pregnancy? Basically, there is an increased amount of blood in the body to compensate for the need to nourish enlarged organs and a new baby. However, with the extra blood comes added pressure on the vesicular walls. Especially for finer, smaller vessels, this can cause damage or rupture, which in turn can lead to a nose bleed. The good news is that there are simple things that can be done to keep this from happening.
It is always a good idea to keep hydrated, and this is especially true while pregnant. Increasing water intake helps keep delicate membranes well hydrated and aid in preventing nosebleeds. It also helps to dab some lotion or petroleum jelly on to the nostrils. This, in addition to increased water intake, goes a long way to keeping the area in and around the nose protected and well hydrated.
Pregnancy is a wonderful and beautiful time in a woman’s life, and there are going to be unexpected surprises along the way, some good and some not so pleasant. In the case of nosebleeds, there are ways to help prevent them and remove at least one unpleasantry from that list.
In general, nosebleeds are not dangerous. They can be a little worrisome, especially if you’ve never had one before, but once you are used to them, they are more frightening to others around you than to your nose can put on quite a show sometimes. Nosebleeds most frequently occur in young children. Then grown ups over 50 seem to see a resurgence.
There are basically two kinds of nosebleeds. Nearly all of them are anterior, which is the easier type to stop. This involves blood coming from the nostrils. Posterior bleeds will run backwards down the throat and can be harder to deal with.
A lot of blood hangs out in the nasal region since it’s a warm and humid part of the body. For those who experience nosebleeds, the cause usually is not known, and they may seem to occur at very odd or random times. Of course, external factors can cause the bleeds as well. Nose picking is the most common, so listen to your mom and keep your fingers out of there. Or you may also have a nose bleed-causing allergy or an infection.
Generally, you can deal with a nosebleed without medical attention. Don’t blow your nose very hard for a while after the bleed stops. Avoid aspirin, which thins the blood. Generally pinching the nose will stop it from continuing to bleed. You may need to hold it for several minutes until the bleeding completely subsides.
Occasionally, a bleed will continue for an extended amount of time. In those cases, medical attention may become necessary. If you have high blood pressure, don’t ignore a nosebleed as it may be a sign of a sharp rise in pressure.
If you get a nosebleed, even if you get them fairly frequently, the likelihood that it is something to be concerned over is slim. Many different factors can result in a nosebleed, and hardly any of them are serious. About three out of every five adults will experience a nosebleed, but fewer than one in 10 will need medical help for the underlying condition.
The only serious conditions that can cause a nosebleed are high blood pressure, a tumor or a bleeding disorder. Barring those rare conditions, what may be causing your nosebleeds? The most common cause of nosebleeds is pretty embarrassing. Nose picking tops the list. The blood vessels in your nose run through the septum and are easy to damage. One wrong pick, and you can spring a leak for sure.
Extremely dry air is another condition that can cause a nosebleed. That’s why some only have the problem in the winter, or in the summer when they spend a lot of time indoors with the AC at full blast. Some sinus and allergy medications dry up more than just mucus and can result in the inside of the nostrils drying out. This creates the perfect conditions for a nosebleed. A sinus infection may also be the culprit, especially if it has you blowing your nose frequently and with a lot of force. That’s all it may take to disrupt the sensitive nasal blood vessels. Seasonal allergies may also be responsible for the same reasons.
Of course, another more serious problem would be illicit drug use. Snorting cocaine can definitely cause a nosebleed. If this is the cause, then your nosebleeds are not the primary problem. Get help to break free from the addiction, and you won’t have to worry about the nosebleeds anymore.
If nosebleeds are frequent, it may be time to get things checked out just to rule out more serious conditions.