Epistaxis known as nosebleed is common amongst large numbers of people, particularly the children. Divided into two major categories, i.e. anterior and posterior bleeds, the treatment also depends upon the particular part where it takes place.
Symptoms – Nosebleed usually exists in one nostril. But it may affect the other nostril too when bleeding is heavy and the blood overflows into nasopharynx. Persons affected with Epistaxis may suffer from spitting up or blood vomiting as it may drip into the back of the throat or down into the stomach. They may look weak, dizzy and confused. Fainting is also one of the signs of nosebleed.
Causes – Epistaxis or bleeding from the nose may occur because of the following reasons:
- Remaining in dry and warm air for longer periods. Work related compulsions may also result in this problem.
- Allergic rhinitis is also responsible for Epistaxis, i.e. nosebleed.
- Some foreign object stuck in the nose may also cause the problem.
- Harsh blowing of the nose.
- Nasal surgery may also lead to this problem.
- Use of cocaine may also result in bleeding of nose.
- Perforated or deviated nasal septum.
Diagnosis – The doctor can easily diagnose the problem as the blood from the nose is visible. However in certain cases medical examination may be necessitated. Inside of the affected nose may be numbed with medications to conduct the test without any pain. Counting of blood and other blood tests may become essential in certain cases.
Treatment – Usual and mild nosebleed can be treated without any medication or other treatment. Nose bleeding due to cold or infection can be discouraged by avoiding sneezing, vigorous nose blowing or nose picking. One should sit up straight and lean forward in slight manners. He or she should remain calm. Do not tilt the head backwards as it may be harmful and make you to swallow the blood. Put pressure on the nostrils with your index finger and thumb and continue so for about ten minutes. This will give sufficient relief. Do not swallow the blood but spit it out. This simple method is much helpful. Prevent your nose from irritation and avoid nose blowing, straining and sneezing etc for a day or two after bleeding stops. Using vaporizer or humidifier is good to keep the nose moisturized and protected from dry warm air. Nasal passages can be kept smooth and moisturized with the help of lubricating ointments and nasal saline sprays.
Nose bleeding from blood vessels can be countered by sealing them with silver nitrate and applying local topical anesthetic in the nose. Nasal Packing including balloon nasal packs, petroleum (Vaseline) gauge and synthetic sponge packs etc may become necessary in serious cases.
Those suffering from Epistaxis, i.e. nosebleed should avoid exposure to dry and cold air. Staying in warm sun rays is also harmful. Nasal passages should be kept moisturized with petroleum jelly, antibiotic ointment or some good quality oil. Smoking, drinking and pricking the nose should be avoided. Healthy diets are good but avoid junk foods.