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Home :: Nosebleed

Nosebleeds (Epistaxis)

A nosebleed or nose bleed , medically known as epistaxis, is the relatively common occurrence of hemorrhage (bleeding) from the nose , usually noticed when it drains out through the nostrils .

Anyone can get a nosebleed. It is common in people who take drugs that affect the blood's clotting ability, and occurs more often in men than in women. It is not uncommon for children to have nosebleeds.


  • Injury to the nose.
  • Nasal or sinus infection.
  • Nasal polyps or a foreign body in the nose.
  • Use of certain drugs, such as anticoagulants, aspirin, or prolonged use of nose drops.
  • Exposure to irritating chemicals.
  • High altitude or dry climate.
  • Dry nasal membranes from any cause.
  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
  • High blood pressure.
  • Bleeding tendencies associated with aplastic anemia, leukemia, hemophilia, thrombocytopenia or liver disease.
  • Hodgkin's disease.
  • Scarlet fever.
  • Scurvy.
  • Rheumatic fever.

Signs and symptoms

  • Blood oozing or gushing from the nostril. If the nosebleed is close to the nostril, the blood is bright red. I the nosebleed is deeper in the blood may be bright or dark.
  • Lightheadedness from blood loss.
  • Rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath and pallor (with significant blood loss only.)


A nosebleed is diagnosed according to its characteristics symptoms. You should see a doctor if the nosebleed is extremely heavy, the bleeding will not stop, nosebleeds occur frequently, or if you have a medical condition or have experienced some type of trauma to the head that is causing the nosebleed. Your doctor will take your medical history and perform a thorough physical examination. He or she may order blood tests and other diagnostic procedures to determine if there is an underlying condition causing the nosebleeds.


Medical Treatment

  • Doctor's or emergency-room treatment if there is a nose fracture or other injury, or if home treatment is unsuccessful. Gauze packing may be inserted to absorb blood, stop dripping and exert pressure on the ruptured blood vessels. Continued bleeding may require cauterization and packing.
  • Surgery (for severe bleeding only).

Home Treatment - If there has been no serious injury to the nose:

  • Sit up with your head bent forward.
  • Clamp your nose closed with your fingers for 5 uninterrupted minutes. During this time, breathe through your mouth.
  • If bleeding stops and recurs, repeat-but pinch your nose firmly on both sides for 8 to 10 minutes. Holding your nose tightly closed allows the blood to clot and seal the damaged blood vessels.
  • You may apply cold compresses at the same time.
  • Don't blow your nose for 12 hours after bleeding stops because you may dislodge the blood clot.
  • Don't swallow blood. It may upset your stomach, or make you "gag" or vomit, causing you to inhale blood.
  • Don't talk excessively, laugh or sing. These may cause gagging.
  • Avoid injury if possible. Use appropriate equipment to protect the face and head.
  • Obtain medical treatment for any known underlying cause.
  • Humidify the air if you live in a dry climate or at the altitude.
  • Nasal saline spray can help prevent nosebleeds, especially during the winter months.

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Disclaimer: website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always take the advice of professional health care for specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site. Please note that medical information is constantly changing. Therefore some information may be out of date.