Nosebleeds, also known as epistaxis, are a common affliction and rarely cause for concern. However, in rare cases, you should seek medical attention for a nosebleed. We review the signs you should seek treatment below.
Seek Medical Attention When…
You should seek immediate medical attention for a nosebleed if…
- It involves heavy bleeding.
- It lasts longer than 15-30 minutes.
- It comes back after it has stopped.
- It follows a blow to the head.
- It results in swallowing a lot of blood.
- It causes weakness or dizziness.
- You’ve had a history of hospitalization for nosebleeds.
- You’ve had a blood transfusion for a nosebleed.
- You’ve had more than three recent episodes of a nosebleed along with a headache.
You should also contact a doctor if a nosebleed occurs…
- In a baby younger than two years old.
- In someone taking blood thinning drugs.
- In someone with symptoms of anemia.
- In someone who has a condition that affects their blood clotting.
If you get a nosebleed, you should first tilt your head forward, breathe through your mouth and pinch the soft part of the nose. If this doesn’t stop the bleeding within 15-30 minutes or the nosebleed is severe enough to seek medical attention, it may be treated with:
- Nasal packing, which involves placing gauze-like material into the nose to stop the bleeding.
- Drops, sprays, ointments or gels from Central Ave. Pharmacy, which can keep the nasal passage moist and/or constrict the blood vessels in the nose.
- Cautery, which involves using a chemical swab or electrical device to seal off the area that is bleeding.
- Surgery, which may involve tying or blocking a blood vessel to prevent bleeding.
Causes of Nosebleeds
Causes of a mild nosebleed include:
- Picking your nose.
- Blowing your nose too hard.
- Dryness in the environment.
- Foreign body in the nose.
- Nasal allergies.
Causes of more severe nosebleeds include:
- Blow to the head.
- Bleeding disorders.
- Blood thinning medications.
- Genetic conditions.
- High blood pressure.
- Head and neck cancer.
For more information about nosebleeds or to schedule an appointment with a nose expert, call Albany ENT & Allergy Services today.