Nose bleeding (or epistaxis) occurs when the blood vessels of the nasal canal burst. These blood capillaries and vessels damage relatively quicker than those present in any other part of the body, owing to their shallow presence (right beneath the mucous membrane of the nostrils).
Following may be the most common causes of nose bleeding:
1. Dry nose and nose picking: This is the most common cause of nosebleeds. When the mucous membranes of the nose dry up and develop cracks, on picking such a surface, lesions occur and start bleeding.
According to E.N.T. surgeon, Dr. Ankush Arya,” Nose picking is the most common cause of nasal bleeding in children.”
2. Extremities of weather: Change in air pressure, humidity, change of seasons can make tissues inside the nose dry resulting in cracks and bleeding.
3. Broken Nose or skull fractures: A sudden impact to the skull, especially, nose, due to some external hard impact may cause a break, thereby resulting in bleeding from the nose.
4. Rhinitis: Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nasal cavity, particularly due to the entry of allergens, may create an extreme condition, where it starts bleeding.
5. Hypertension: Narrowing of arteries result in raising the blood pressure, that may lead to internal bleeding, causing blood to flow out of the nose.
6. Overdose: Consuming substances like alcohol, or drugs beyond their prescribed levels may lead to hemorrhage, resulting in nosebleeds in extreme conditions.
7. Difficulty in blood clotting: Medical conditions like hemophilia or leukemia, where blood has lost its ability to clot may also lead to heavy nosebleeds in case of even a minor injury.
8. Chronic sinusitis: Inflammation of sinuses may also be a cause of bleeding from the nose.
9. Pregnancy: Hormonal changes and fluctuations in blood pressure during pregnancy may also lead to nose bleeding.
10.Some prescribed blood anticoagulants: Medicine with warfarin or ibuprofen may delay or disrupt blood clotting. In such a case, precaution should always be taken to avoid an occurrence of any injury to the nasal membrane.
First aid tips to manage a nosebleed conveniently are as follows:
1. Avoiding clogging of throat and mouth with blood. This can be done by leaning ahead and bending the head forward. It prevents blood to rush back into the sinuses and throat, averting any case of gagging.
2. Pinching the nose for some time to let the blood clot. Further, ice packs should be applied to the cheek and surrounding areas so as to provide an instant relief to the capillaries encompassing the area.
3. Blow away the clots in the nasal cavity, or use a nasal spray to ease any congestion.
4. After the blood coagulates, the head can be allowed to rest at an elevated angle of 35-40 degrees.
5. Extra care must be taken to avoid putting any kind of strain on the nasal cavity, like applying pressure while defecating, or smoking.
6. Avoid taking any medications, especially the ones that make the blood thinner.
However, consulting a doctor after the bleeding stops will help diagnose any possible reason for internal injury. Further, if the bleeding still persists, consult a practitioner and get suitable advice.