‘How should nosebleeds be treated?’ and ‘When should bleeding be taken seriously?’ Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist Prof. Dr. Serdar Karahatay replied.
Why does the nose bleed?
Among the functions of the nose are heating, humidifying and purifying the inhaled air, and it is rich in blood vessels to fulfill these functions. The nasal vascular network is located just below the nasal covering surface (mucosa) and is very open to external factors. Sensitivity also increases in hot and dry climates or with prolonged exposure to air conditioning. In patients with allergies, which become evident in the spring months, the enlargement of this vascular network and tissue edema also predispose to bleeding. Scratching with hands and frequent sneezing are also other causes of allergic origin that predispose to bleeding. In patients with a curved nasal septum (septum cartilage) or chronic sinusitis, the above-described conditions have a much greater effect on bleeding.
Other and more serious causes of nosebleeds include internal diseases with reduced clotting and the use of blood thinners. Vascular problems due to hypertension and tumors are among the other causes of nosebleeds. Nose bleeds after facial bones and nasal fractures due to severe traumas such as traffic accidents can be more severe and long-lasting.
Local bleeding of the nose lasts shorter and can be stopped with correct and simple interventions, while bleeding due to trauma or internal causes is more severe and requires interventions by specialist doctors in the hospital environment.
What should we do when nose bleeds?
Whatever the reason, it is necessary to stay calm first during a nosebleed. The excitement and panic of those around can lead to permanent blood retention or phobia, especially in children. In patients with high blood pressure, blood pressure should be measured, and if it is high, it should be tried to be reduced with appropriate drugs. In cases of nosebleeds after severe trauma such as a traffic accident, the patient’s conscious state should be evaluated, and in unconscious patients, the correct position should be given to prevent the blood from going to the lungs from behind the nose and necessary emergency help should be sought.
In more common and milder nosebleeds, the person with nosebleeds should be seated upright with his head tilted slightly forward. The soft-consisting nasal wings, which form the lower parts of the nose, should be squeezed firmly between the thumb and index fingers. This pressure should be applied from both sides of the nose and should last for at least ten minutes without interruption. If the bleeding still continues, it can be waited for another ten minutes by applying pressure in the same way. It is necessary to apply to the emergency room in cases of still bleeding.
In cases of nosebleeds that are easily stopped but recurring frequently, treatment and measures should be applied to the underlying infection, allergy, manual mixing or nasal dryness.
When to go to the doctor?
In the presence of the following conditions, nosebleeds may indicate a serious health problem. For this reason, an otolaryngologist examination is required.
– Bleeding is frequent or cannot be stopped
– If it is always the same side from the nostril
– If there is concomitant use of blood thinners
– If complaints such as weight loss, weakness, exhaustion are accompanied or if the bleeding has reached the level to cause anemia
– If there is other bleeding in the body or easy bruising on the skin