There is a moist tissue or mucus inside the nose that is delicate and has many blood vessels close to the surface. Damage to the nasal mucosa, including small scratches, causes blood vessels to rupture and bleed. Nosebleeds can be caused by dry air or a blow to the nose. Daily or frequent nosebleeds may even be due to certain medications or underlying conditions.
Here we look at possible causes, treatment options, and when to see a doctor.
Causes of nosebleeds
There are several reasons for daily nosebleeds, including:
Clean the nose with your finger
Brushing or fining the nose with your finger will cause scratches on the delicate covering of the nose. This can cause blood vessels to rupture, resulting in nosebleeds.
Colds and allergies
Allergies, colds, and upper respiratory tract infections cause frequent nosebleeds. Inflammation and congestion in the nose increase the risk of nosebleeds. Congestion dilates blood vessels in the nose and increases the risk of rupture and bleeding.
Hot or dry weather
Very hot or dry air can increase the frequency of nosebleeds. This type of air causes cracks in the lining of the nose and bleeding. Seasonal changes can also cause frequent nosebleeds because the nose has not had enough time to adapt to changes in temperature and humidity.
People who have frequent nosebleeds may have a clotting disorder. Genetics or hereditary factors cause these disorders to clot. Hemophilia is a disease in which the blood does not clot properly. This can cause frequent bleeding in and out of the body, especially after any injury or surgery. People with hemophilia are more likely to experience recurrent nosebleeds that are difficult to stop. Von Willebrand disease is another type of bleeding disorder that causes blood to clot more slowly than usual. People with von Willebrand disease are more likely to have recurrent nosebleeds that are difficult to prevent.
Nosebleeds are sometimes a side effect of medication. Some medications stop the blood from clotting, which can cause frequent nosebleeds. These medications may include blood thinners such as coumadin or warfarin and anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin.
Some supplements work similar to blood thinners. Some supplements contain chemicals that prolong bleeding. These supplements include:
Some underlying health conditions can cause recurrent nosebleeds. These include the following:
High blood pressure
Thrombocytopenia is a condition that leads to low platelet levels in the blood. Platelets are needed for blood to clot.
Some nasal abnormalities also cause frequent nosebleeds. Nasal septal deviation is an abnormality that occurs at birth or through damage to the nose. The septum is a thin wall of cartilage that separates each nostril. If the blade is not central, it creates an uneven flow of air in the nose. This dries out one side of the nose and increases the risk of bleeding.
Tumors in the nose or sinuses can also cause frequent nosebleeds. Tumors may be cancerous or noncancerous. Tumors of the nose or sinuses are more common in older adults or smokers. Persistent nasal congestion or foul-smelling discharge from the nose are symptoms of a tumor in the nose or sinuses.
Excessive alcohol consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption slows down blood clotting by affecting blood platelets. Alcohol also enlarges blood vessels close to the surface and makes them easier to rupture and bleed.
Some chemicals irritate the nasal mucosa. This can cause frequent nosebleeds if people are regularly exposed to chemical stimulants. Chemical stimulants include the following:
Smoke including cigarette smoke
The following steps can stop nosebleeds:
Sit up straight and lean forward slightly.
Breathe through your mouth to your nose.
Using your thumb and forefinger, grasp the fleshy part of the nose below the bone.
If the bleeding continues, press your nose for another 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, check to see if the bleeding has stopped.
Avoid finning for up to an hour after the bleeding has stopped to prevent the clot from detaching before it heals.
If nosebleeds still persist, use an over-the-counter nasal spray that constricts blood vessels.
If necessary, bleed the nasal spray into the nostril and spray to slow the bleeding process.
See your doctor if you still have nosebleeds.
How does a doctor stop nosebleeds:
Close the nose with a bandage
Freezes or burns blood vessels using electricity or chemicals such as silver nitrate
Use medicine inside the nose to stop blood flow
Some people may need laser treatment or surgery to block blood vessels and prevent further bleeding.
Long-term treatment of daily or frequent nosebleeds depends on the underlying cause. Some people need to take certain medications or supplements to reduce or alter this process.
If chemical irritants or allergens cause nosebleeds, you should avoid exposure to them and take antihistamines or a protective mask if needed.
If a person has an injury, deformity, or tumor in their nose, they may need surgery.
Some people who have an underlying disease that causes nosebleeds may need treatment.
When to see a doctor?
See your doctor if you have frequent nosebleeds for no apparent reason. The doctor will review the person’s medical history, as well as evaluate them if they are taking any medications. If no clear cause for the bleeding is found, some tests may be ordered.
When to seek emergency care
If a lot of blood comes down from the back of the throat, even when bending forward, you should go to the emergency room immediately.
Nosebleeds are a common occurrence and are often harmless, although serious cases can occur. If people have daily or frequent nosebleeds, it may be a side effect of medication or a sign of an underlying condition. Seeing a doctor can determine the root cause of recurrent nosebleeds, and treatment can help prevent nosebleeds in the future. If people are unable to stop their nosebleeds, they should seek medical help immediately.
Translator: Elahe Zarei