Nosebleed - Causes

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What causes nosebleeds?

The nose is a part of the body rich in blood vessels (vascular) and is located in a vulnerable position protruding 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], clopidogrel [Plavix], aspirin, or any anti-inflammatory medication). In this situation, even a minor trauma could result in significant bleeding.

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 result 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 risk factors predispose people to nosebleeds:

  • Infection
  • 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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See what others are saying

Comment from: sarinabris, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 12

I had surgery, nasopharynx and larynx, four days ago and was only in hospital overnight. Nasal bleeding has not stopped and became worse 24 hours ago. I have used a sea water microdiffusion spray as well as Otrivin. My right nostril where surgery occurred is now quite swollen. I am taking antibiotic as I had a slight fever. My post-operative appointment is not for another 4 days.

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Comment from: mijael, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: October 02

I woke up with this sound I thought was normal. But after a week I still hear the sound. I went to the ENT hospital and they found something inside. They said maybe it was the cause of tinnitus and the doctor gave this medicine Gingko. A week of taking this medicine, still the sound is there. They gave me two weeks to take this medicine, but I am worrying about this sound. It is always in the right ear and it sometime it hurts. I have Adapt Sound in my cell phone and tablet; I always try testing, but it is good. I can hear the low tone. My wife every night gives a massage in my right ear which feels good, but sound is still there.

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