Frequent Nose Bleeds
FREQUENT NOSE BLEEDS (EPISTAXIS)
Epistaxis, commonly known as a nosebleed, affects people from all walks of life. Epistaxis is rarely life-threatening, but it can cause unpredictable and frustrating bleeding episodes and may sometimes indicate an underlying health issue. The inside of the nose is delicate with countless blood vessels, meaning that any mild trauma to the face or nose can cause bleeding. Epistaxis may vary from minor irritation of the nasal mucosa to heavy bleeding from the intranasal blood vessels which requires immediate medical intervention. The complexity and potential severity of epistaxis is exactly why you need an experienced nose specialist.
TREATMENT FOR FREQUENT BLOODY NOSE FROM HOUSTON’S TOP RHINOLOGIST
At Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus, our Board Certified Otolaryngologist (ENT) and fellowship-trained Rhinologist Dr. Arjuna Kuperan is among the most highly qualified nose and sinus specialists in Texas. Dr. Kuperan is experienced in treating a full range of nasal issues, including epistaxis. He is dedicated to finding the underlying cause of your frequent nosebleeds, along with a treatment plan that works for you.
WHAT CAUSES EPISTAXIS?
The common causes of epistaxis include:
- Nasal dryness from heavy central heating or air conditioning use
- Nasal dryness from frequent nasal steroid spray use
- Living in particularly dry climates (mountain or desert conditions)
- Injuries to the nose
- High blood pressure
- Bleeding disorders (hemophilia)
- Use of blood thinners (aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix)
- Hereditary telangiectasias (a genetically inherited condition)
- Nasal polyps
- Sinus tumors
TYPES OF EPISTAXIS
Nosebleeds are divided into different types of epistaxis (anterior or posterior), depending on the origin of the bleeding. Anterior epistaxis occurs when blood vessels in the front part of the nose rupture and bleed. Posterior epistaxis occurs in the back or the deepest part of the nose; posterior epistaxis is rare but it can be severe and life threatening and should be treated as a medical emergency.
WHEN SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR FOR NOSE BLEEDING?
If you experience a nosebleed that lasts 20 minute or more and does not stop when pressure is applied or causes blood to flow down your throat, it may be a posterior epistaxis and you should seek immediate medical attention.1 You should also seek medical attention right away if you have trouble breathing or if you have a severe nosebleed as a result of an accident or injury.
HOW IS EPISTAXIS TREATED?
Minor nosebleeds that occur infrequently do not typically require professional treatment. However, you should see a Rhinologist if your nosebleeds are frequent or interfering with your quality of life. Dr. Kuperan can perform a nasal endoscopy, which uses a small camera device to see inside your nose, to better assess the problem and determine the source of the bleeding.
If your epistaxis is caused by nasal dryness, nasal saline spray or gel along with use of an air humidifier may be enough to resolve the problem. If the bleeding is more severe, cauterization with silver nitrate or a monopolar/bipolar electrocautery device (used while you are under sedation) may be necessary to control the bleeding. In rare cases nasal packing material may be needed to control bleeding. In cases where epistaxis is a result of nasal polyps or sinus tumors, endoscopic sinus surgery may be required to stop the bleeding.
At Houston Advanced Nose and Sinus, we will work with you to create a treatment plan that is tailored to address the cause and severity of your epistaxis. Dr. Kuperan understands that each patient is unique and he offers a personalized approach. He uses his expertise and specialized experience to help patients find quick and effective relief from frequent nose bleeds.
1 Cleveland Clinic. Nosebleeds. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/13464-nosebleed-epistaxis Accessed October 14, 2020.
Dr. Arjuna Kuerpan has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.