Epistaxis

Epistaxis

EpistaxisEpistaxis, commonly called “nosebleed”, is a growing concern among people from all walks of life. Though rarely life-threatening, the issue may lead to a number of serious medical conditions, especially in children. The nose is a very delicate part of the face as it has countless blood vessels, due to which, any trauma to the face can cause Epistaxis (nose bleeding). The problem may vary from minor irritation of the nasal mucosa, to heavy bleeding from the intranasal blood vessel, which requires immediate medical intervention.

 

Types

Nosebleeds are divided into two categories - anterior bleeds and posterior bleeds - based on the origination of bleeding.  

Anterior Epistaxis - Nosebleeds occur when blood vessels in front of the nose break and bleed.

Posterior Epistaxis - Occur in the back or the deepest part of the nose, and can be dangerous as blood can flow down the throat.

Causes

Although a one-off case of sudden and occasional nosebleed may not be a reason to worry, if you experience frequent nosebleeds, it might be a sign of a serious problem. Here are some common causes of Epistaxis.

Dryness

Dryness is one of the most common causes of nosebleeds. Dry climates and excessive use of HVAC systems can dry out the inner tissues of the nose, leading to the formation of crust, which gradually starts itching. If you scratch or pick the nose, it can result in nose bleeding. Another reason for dry nose can be the intake of antihistamine and decongestants for allergies, colds, or sinus problems that dry out the nasal membrane, thereby instigating Epistaxis.

Other Causes

  •     Injuries to the nose
  •     High blood pressure
  •     Blood clotting disorder
  •     Bleeding disorder
  •     Cancer

Treatment

One way to control Epistaxis is to pinch the nasal alae together and sit up straight while keeping head slightly upwards. Another way is applying an ice pack. Though most nosebleeds do not require medical attention, if the bleeding continues for more than 20 minutes, it may be a case of a posterior Epistaxis, which is a serious problem. In fact, it can be a sign of a nasal or sinus tumor. Epistaxis can be managed with nasal lubrication or may require cauterization or vessel ligation. In the case of serious nosebleeds, consult an ENT specialist without wasting any time.

Need Help? Consult an ENT Specialist, Today!

Don't let Epistaxis affect your day-to-day activities. If you are troubled by frequent nosebleeds, let our team of ENT specialists at Houston Plastic Craniofacial & Sinus Surgery diagnose the problem and suggest a safe and effective way out. To schedule an appointment or get answers to your questions, call us at (713) 791-0700 or fill out the form on the right.

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