Bleeding from the nose happens when there’s a tear in the tissue lining the nose. This happens when there’s an injury, a blow to the nose, or a blood vessel gets cut. It also happens when something is stuck in the nasal cavity, such as a foreign object.
Nosebleeds are also called epistaxis. The nose is a small passageway with lots of blood vessels. If there’s a problem with the blood vessels in the nose, it can cause nosebleeds.
Nosebleeds are often the result of a nose injury or an object getting stuck inside the nose, but it can also happen without a known cause.
What are the symptoms of nosebleeds?
Nosebleeds are often accompanied by other symptoms, which vary depending on the type and severity of the nosebleed.
Nosebleeds are usually painless and go away without treatment. They can be mild and last for a few minutes, or they can be more severe and last for longer.
Symptoms of nosebleeds
The symptoms of nosebleeds depend on their cause. However, nosebleeds and other symptoms often come and go.
Mild nosebleeds can cause the following symptoms:
- Mild pain or pressure, which may be mild and last for a few minutes
- Redness or discoloration of the skin
- A drop in blood pressure
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- A sensation of fullness in the nose
Severe nosebleeds can cause the following symptoms:
- Severe pain, which can be continuous or intermittent
- Feeling of pressure in the nose
- A feeling of fullness in the nose
- Nosebleeds that don’t stop when you blow your nose
What causes nosebleeds?
Nosebleeds are usually the result of a tear in the lining of the nose, which leads to bleeding.
The following can cause nosebleeds:
- Nose injury
- Nasal congestion
- A foreign object, such as a piece of paper or a coin
- An object stuck in the nose, such as a cotton swab
- A blood vessel in the nose
- A blood vessel in the throat
- Coughing or sneezing
- Blowing your nose
Treatment for nosebleeds
Most nosebleeds resolve on their own. Treatment depends on the cause.
If you’re experiencing nosebleeds in only one nostril, you can try the following:
- Make sure the area is clean by gently cleaning the area with a washcloth.
- Gently blow your nose to keep the bleeding under control.
- Use a cold compress to soothe your nose.
- Apply a nasal decongestant spray or saline solution to the area.
If your nosebleeds are severe, you may need to have surgery to remove the object.
In some cases, a medical professional may need to drain blood from the nose.
Nosebleeds and surgery
In some cases, a medical provider may recommend surgery to prevent the blood vessel from getting larger.
When to see your doctor?
See your doctor if you have nosebleeds that last for more than a day or that don’t resolve with home treatment.
If you have other symptoms, such as a headache, pain, or trouble breathing, see your doctor to determine the cause of your nosebleed.
How to prevent nosebleeds?
It’s possible to prevent nosebleeds by avoiding activities that cause nosebleeds. You should avoid:
- Nose blowing. This is a common cause of nosebleeds. You should avoid blowing your nose, as this can cause more bleeding.
- Nose picking. This can cause bleeding because the tissue in the nose lining can tear, and this can lead to nosebleeds.
- Nose picking with cotton swabs. This can also lead to nosebleeds.
- Staring. This can cause blood vessels in the nose to rupture, so avoid this activity.
How long does a nosebleed last?
Nosebleeds can last for a few minutes, or they can last for several hours.
Nosebleeds that occur frequently or that last for longer than a day are usually the result of an underlying condition. It’s important to see your doctor if you have frequent nosebleeds to determine the underlying cause.
How is nosebleeds treated?
Treatment for a nosebleed depends on the cause.
If you’re experiencing nosebleeds that aren’t resolved by home treatment, talk to your doctor. They may suggest some or all of the following:
- Antibiotics can be used to help treat an infection.
- Nasal decongestants can help treat nasal congestion.
- Steroid sprays can be used to reduce swelling in the mucous membrane of the nose.
- Nasal sprays can be used to help treat a deviated septum.
- Nasal packing can help stop the bleeding.
- A nasal balloon can be used to help expand airways.
Surgery is often the best way to treat an injury to the nose.
Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need one or more of the following:
- An endoscopic procedure. This allows your doctor to perform a medical procedure using a thin tube and light.
- An endoscopic surgery. This is a minimally invasive procedure, meaning that it’s less invasive than an open surgery.
- An endostapler. This is a procedure that allows your doctor to remove tissues from the lining of the nose.
- A septoplasty. This is the most common procedure that’s used to treat an injury to the nose, such as a broken nose.
If you have nasal polyps, they may need to be removed.
What’s the outlook for nosebleeds?
Most nosebleeds go away on their own, and most of the time they only last a few minutes. A mild nosebleed may be treated at home.
If the bleeding doesn’t stop, it’s important to see your doctor.
Severe nosebleeds are usually the result of an underlying condition, such as a blood vessel injury or a deviated septum, and they may require surgery.
You should see your doctor if you have nosebleeds that don’t go away or that last for more than a day.
Nosebleeds that occur frequently or that last for more than a day are usually the result of an underlying condition. It’s important to see your doctor if you have frequent nosebleeds to determine the underlying cause
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