Epistaxis, which is better known as a nose bleed, can be mild and irritating or potentially severe and life threatening. If you experience frequent nose bleeds or you are having a nose bleed that will not stop, you should seek medical treatment. Knowing why nose bleeds happen, where they usually occur, and what to do about them can be beneficial should an epistaxis happen to you or a loved one.
Nose bleeds can happen for a variety of reasons. Elevated blood pressure contributes to bleeding because the increase in pressure in your blood vessels puts pressure on them and can cause them to ooze and bleed. If you are a patient on blood thinners, you are also at an increased risk for nose bleeds and should take care to seek treatment immediately if you see any blood coming from your nose. Chronic irritation from allergies, runny nose, or even dry air can also increase your chance of having a nose bleed.
Nose bleeds most frequently come from an area on the nasal septum which is the tissue that separates the left and right nostril. This area is called Little’s area, but can cause a “big” problem. If you are having nose bleeds, we can perform a nasal endoscopy in the office to determine where the bleeding is coming from and also perform a simple cautery procedure to stop the bleeding.
Perhaps your nose is bleeding from one side and you are wondering what to do. First, remain upright and use your thumb and first finger to squeeze your nostrils together and compress them against your nasal septum (the cartilage in the middle). By applying constant pressure for 10 minutes, you may be able to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding will not stop, you should seek immediate medical attention.
All of our locations at Ear, Nose, Throat, and Allergy Specialists have the ability to help you or loved one with your nose bleed issues should you need expert care.– Josh Snearly, NP-C