Do You Have Constant Nosebleeds? This Could Be Why

Health Education
June 26, 2023
3 mins
Do You Have Constant Nosebleeds? This Could Be Why

hough common and often harmless, few people know why they get nosebleeds. Most people will experience the occasional nosebleed and think nothing of it. While others suffer from constant nosebleeds. Knowing the various causes of nosebleeds can prepare you for when they occur.

What Causes Nosebleeds?

The human nose contains a large number of blood vessels located close to the surface of the nose’s inner lining. Lying just beneath a delicate layer of skin, these blood vessels are easily weakened by outside elements. When poked, picked, or prodded, nasal blood vessels can open up, causing a nosebleed.

Epistaxis, or bleeding from the nose, is most often caused by dry air. Environments with low humidity and/or hot climates are prone to dry air that has little to no water vapor in it. This dryness can cause irritation to the inner lining of the nose cavity, also known as nasal mucous membranes.

When the nasal mucous membranes are dryer than usual, the inner lining can become cracked or crusty. A dry nose is more susceptible to bleeding if rubbed or picked. Sometimes, blowing your nose can also cause a bleed. People who take blood thinners like aspirin can sometimes have longer-lasting, or more profuse nosebleeds.

What Can Nosebleeds Be A Sign Of?

There are two types of nosebleeds—an anterior nosebleed and a posterior nosebleed. 

Anterior nosebleeds are seldom serious medical concerns and can be treated at home. An anterior nosebleed is classified as such because it begins in the front of the nose. Here, small blood vessels and fragile capillaries break easily. Especially common in children, anterior nosebleeds often result from picking or scratching the lower part of the nasal septum. The septum is the cartilage and bone separating the nasal cavity into two sides.

The second type of nosebleed is a posterior nosebleed. Most common in adults, a posterior nosebleed is named as such because it originates in the back part of the nose. These are the more concerning of the two types of nosebleeds as they can result in heavy bleeding. A posterior nosebleed can rush blood out of the nose, but it can also flow back into the throat. 

A person with a posterior nosebleed may have suffered an injury to the face or nose. They can also be triggered by high blood pressure and other medical conditions. Posterior nosebleeds can be serious. If you suspect you have a posterior nosebleed, seek medical attention.

Treatment for a Nosebleed

Nosebleeds will often clot on their own, given time. To help speed the process along, sit up and lean forward in a chair. Keep your head up as you lean. This will stop the blood flow from retreating into your throat. Have tissues handy and gently blow your nose. While breathing through your mouth, use your thumb and forefinger to pinch your nostrils closed. Applying this continued pressure will help slow, and eventually stop, the blood flow.

If the nosebleed is persistent for longer than 15 minutes, seek medical attention.

To prevent future nosebleeds, don’t pick or otherwise agitate the nose for several hours. Allow the healing process to complete. Exposing the nasal cavity to steam or a humidifier can also help. The use of an ice pack on the bridge of the nose can be a benefit as well.

Further Information on Nosebleeds

Sixty percent of people will experience nosebleeds in their lifetime. Though a common occurrence, nosebleeds can be jarring and disruptive to an otherwise pleasant day. 

At BASS Medical, our otolaryngology department is well-equipped to handle all cases and conditions having to do with the ears, nose, and throat. If you have further questions about nosebleeds or any other condition within otolaryngology, the staff at Bass Medical can help.

Contact us today for more information about frequent nosebleeds, or to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified ENT specialists!