Nosebleeds are one of those things–many of us get them, but few of us know what actually causes them. Some children are frequently plagued while others go through their entire childhood with nary a drop of blood shed. So, what’s the scoop?
Before we look at some of the causes of a nose bleed, let’s take a look at the anatomy of the nose.
The lining of nose is divided into two portions: * The anterior or front * The posterior or back
Most nose bleeds, referred to medically as Epistaxis, occur in the rich vascular plexus that underlies the thin, delicate mucous membrane along the front of the nasal septum. Central Park ENT. These more common types of nosebleeds are easier to treat and prevent.
Bleeding in the posterior, along the more complex, lateral nasal wall is more common in older patients, particularly those with hypertension. These types of nosebleeds are more difficult to treat.
Cause and Prevention
The most common cause of nose bleeds is trauma. Trauma can include anything from blowing your nose too hard, picking, cleaning, or rubbing. It can also include a sports-related injury such as accidentally getting hit in the face. Other causes are dryness, excess use of prescription nasal sprays (steroidal), staph infection, hypertension, and medication side effect.
Keeping the delicate tissue inside your nose moist is important, especially in dry or cold climates. Running a humidifier at night is very effective at reducing dryness in the nose and throat, and often helps you sleep better. Use of saline nasal sprays or nasal irrigation will also help.
Remember, no matter what remedy you try, be gentle with your nose–being rough on this delicate appendage can increase the risk of epistaxis.
If you do get a nose bleed, it is important to remain calm or to keep your child calm. Although scary, nosebleeds can easily be staunched by applying direct pressure. Pinching the nose firmly for 10-20 minutes is the recommended treatment. Once the bleeding has stopped, use a non-prescription nasal decongestant, such as Afrin to help constrict blood vessels.
Overall, Nosebleeds are fairly common and generally harmless (unless they are chronic or associated with another medical condition). If you are in the Boise area and suffer from frequent nosebleeds, contact us at (208) 367-3320 for assistance.