Ever had a nosebleed? Most people have experienced them in their lives, and they can be kinda shocking. Yet nosebleeds are common, and thankfully, they’re usually not as bad as they look. This article will discuss the different kinds of nosebleeds and what causes them.
Nosebleeds may occur in the front or back parts of the nose. Anterior nosebleeds are the most common, and they come from the collection of small blood vessels in the soft part of the front of the nose. Usually the bleeding is caused by dryness of the skin lining the inside of the nose. Excessive air exposure, especially in the winter, can cause this dryness, as well as friction from picking the nose or using tissues excessively. Allergies can also lead to excessive dryness inside the nose, making it more likely for small blood vessels in the front of the nose to break. Kids and young adults are the most likely to experience anterior nosebleeds. During seasons when the air is cold and dry, it’s also much easier for the inside lining of the nose to dry up.
Posterior nosebleeds, which occur more commonly among older people, result from breaking blood vessels deep in the back of the nose. Posterior bleeding may be caused by allergies or an infection, or by exterior or interior trauma to that part of the nose. People with high blood pressure are more likely to experience posterior nosebleeds, as well as people with chronic allergies or sinus irritation.
Additionally, regular exposure to chemical irritants or the abuse of certain drugs can cause both anterior and posterior bleeding. In severe cases, a deviated septum can occur, which is severe damaging and displacement of the skin between the two nostrils. This condition requires surgery to correct.
Again, nosebleeds are pretty common, and thankfully, are usually not serious. Usually, pressure can be applied to the soft front of the nose for five to fifteen minutes to stop an anterior bleed. But remember, don’t lean back if you have a nosebleed—lean forward! This will allow the blood to flow out of the nose instead of back into your head. Applying ice after the bleeding stops will also help the healing and prevent further bleeding. Nosebleeds usually don’t last very long, and it’s usually not that hard to stop the bleeding.
However, if you are experiencing frequent nosebleeds, go ahead and contact your ear, nose, and throat doctor to make sure it’s not a sign of a more serious condition.