Know it All about Nosebleeds
Although children and adults experiencing a nosebleed may panic, nosebleeds are usually not serious. Ninety percent of all nosebleeds are from the front of the nose and are simple in nature. It is almost always a result of a burst capillary in this part of the nose and can usually be taken care of at home (although it may be necessary to see a doctor if this continues for a long time). Some nosebleeds, however, occur in the back of the nose. This is the more serious kind of nosebleed and does need a visit with an otolaryngologist, (ENT). These nosebleeds usually happen in older people.
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Nose bleeding occurs mostly in cold, dry weather. It can happen to anyone, although it usually occurs in children ages 2-10 and in adults between 50 and 80 years of age. An external injury of the nose or an irritant inside the nose (such as frequent poking with a finger) is what causes the nose to bleed. In very rare cases, the nosebleed can come from other causes such as a platelet deficiency (which would make slow blood clotting) or thinned blood, (possibly due to blood-thinning medication). It can also come from high blood pressure, but this is extremely rare.
When a doctor’s visit is necessary, the doctors will usually anesthetize the nose with an agent that will also narrow the vein that runs through the nose so that the doctor can clearly examine the region. A blood sample may be collected and sent to a lab to determine the degree of blood loss or if the nosebleeds are a side-effect of another medication
Blood in a nosebleed usually only comes from one nostril. If there is a lot of blood, it can fill up the affected side and actually overflow to the second side, causing bleeding from both sides. The blood can also flow backward down the throat and into the stomach, which may result in vomiting or spitting up blood.
Dizziness, confusion, or fainting spells are signs of losing a lot of blood. This occurs rarely, but if it happens, seek immediate medical assistance. If the patient bleeds often in other parts of the body, or injures easily, it may be a sign of a more serious illness and should be discussed with a doctor. One should also see a doctor if nosebleeds occur frequently. Also see a doctor if you notice blood in the stool, are taking a blood thinner, or have recently had a round of chemotherapy.
If blood flows for longer than ten minutes or keeps coming in fresh spurts every few minutes, you become dizzy, faint, feel your heart racing, have difficulty breathing, have a fever or rash, coughing or vomiting blood, get emergency medical help immediately.
Helpful and Healthful:
Nutrition may be a critical part of the solution. Rutin and bioflavonoids are important for those who suffer from frequent nosebleeds. PureWayC can also be very helpful. A multivitamin that contains iron can help prevent anemia when blood loss reaches greater levels.
An average nosebleed will stop on its own without treatment. Here’s what to do when there seems to be a lot of blood:
• Stay calm.
• Sit up straight.
• Tilt your chin forward. Keeping your head up will cause you to swallow more blood, and in rare instances can cause choking.
• Pinch your nose together for ten complete minutes.
• Spit out any blood that accumulated in your mouth. Swallowing blood may cause vomiting.
When the bleeding has stopped, try:
• Not to blow or clean your nose for the next 24 hours.
• Using a humidifier to moisturize the air.
Ice is generally not effective for stopping nosebleeds.
In more serious cases, a doctor will try to pinpoint the exact blood vessel that the nosebleed comes from. At times, the vessel can be cauterized with silver nitrate. Sometimes, the doctor will close up the nose with cotton packing to stop the blood from flowing. (Do not attempt this on your own. Only a physician should do this.) This packing will usually be removed within 1-3 days
• Newborn babies can breathe and swallow simultaneously. This is impossible for older children and adults.
• When passing through the nose, inhaled breath is moistened and heated or cooled before entering the lungs.
• The air is full of pollutants. Cilia, fine hair in the nose, removes the dirt particles and pollutants before air enters the lungs.
• The smell of a food will affect the taste of food.