Nosebleeds or epistaxis are very common problems. Most people in the United States will experience nosebleeds at one time or another. But what causes nosebleeds? It is the result of drying out of the nasal membranes that causes the superficial blood vessels in the lining to bleed. It can be quite frightening and dramatic to see the blood dripping down your face. Sometimes the blood can go down the throat as well. This bleeding tends to be seasonal, usually occurring during the winter months as the heat from your furnace wreaks havoc with your nose causing dryness or crusting. Factors that can lead to nosebleeds include nose-picking (keep your fingers away and cut your kids fingernails!), medications that thin your blood like aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix or NSAIDs, trauma (getting hit on the nose) among others.
Most nosebleeds occur toward the front of the nose in an area called Kiesselbach's plexus, a collection of various blood vessels. If the bleeding persists or you have reoccurring nosebleeds, an ear, nose and throat doctor can thoroughly examine you to see where the bleeding is coming from. They may be able to cauterize those vessels so that they no longer cause you further grief. Sometimes the nose needs to be packed with cotton or gauze, which applies pressure on the bleeding site to compress the vessels. If someone is bleeding from their blood being too thin, often certain medications or blood products are needed to reverse the condition and stop the bleeding.
What can be done to help prevent any further bleeding? At our ear, nose and throat offices in Danbury, Ridgefield, New Milford, Norwalk and Southbury, we often recommend our patients to use a lubricant like saline gel in the nose or consider a humidifier in their rooms during the winter. If bleeding occurs, they should hold or pinch the flexible area on their nostrils just beneath the nasal bones and call us if the bleeding doesn't stop within 15 minutes.
Advanced Ear, Nose and Throat Care provides ear, nose and throat services in Fairfield County, CT, Our physicians are comprised of ear, nose and throat specialists Dr. Michael Bard, Dr. James Batti, Dr. Dov Bloch, Dr. Anthony Fama, Dr. Jay Klarsfeld, and Dr. Jeffrey Monroe who treat most conditions of the head and neck. In addition to nosebleeds, these conditions range from head and neck cancer, thyroid surgery for cancer, nodules and other thyroid disorders, parathyroid and salivary gland surgery, silent reflux, ear infections, tonsils and adenoids, sleep disturbance, nasal and sinus surgery and more.
- Dr. Dov Bloch