(Epistaxis, Nose Bleed, Bloody Nose)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- What causes nosebleeds?
- How do you stop the common nosebleed?
- How do you prevent the nose from bleeding again?
- What precautions can you take to prevent nose bleeding?
- When should you call your doctor or go to an emergency room?
- What should I do if the doctor has placed nasal packs?
- Nosebleed At A Glance
- Patient Comments: Nosebleed - Causes
- Patient Comments: Nosebleed - Prevention
- Patient Comments: Nosebleed - Stop
- Patient Comments: Nosebleed - Length Symptoms Lasted
Why causes nosebleeds?
The nose is a part of the body rich in blood vessels (vascular) and is situated in a vulnerable position as it protrudes on the face. As a result, trauma to the face can cause nasal injury and bleeding. The bleeding may be profuse, or simply a minor complication. Nosebleeds can occur spontaneously when the nasal membranes dry out and crack. This is common in dry climates, or during the winter months when the air is dry and warm from household heaters. People are more susceptible to a bloody nose if they take medications that prevent normal blood clotting (warfarin [Coumadin], aspirin, or any anti-inflammatory medication). In this situation, even a minor trauma could result in significant bleeding.
Learn more about: Coumadin
The incidence of nosebleeds is higher during the colder winter months when upper respiratory infections are more frequent, and the temperature and humidity fluctuate more dramatically. In addition, changes from a bitter cold outside environment to a warm, dry, heated home results in drying and changes in the nose which make it more susceptible to bleeding. Nosebleeds also occur in hot dry climates with low humidity, or when there is a change in the seasons. The following factors predispose people to nosebleeds:
- Trauma, including self-induced by nose picking, especially in children
- Allergic and non-allergic rhinitis
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Use of blood thinning medications
- Alcohol abuse
- Less common causes include tumors and inherited bleeding problems
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy may increase the risk of nosebleeds.
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