Cause of Nosebleeds in Adults

by Sam Malone


Nose bleeds are a very common thing. Usually nosebleeds are common in children and less likely in adults, but this does not mean that adults cannot experience nose bleeds. There are a number of reasons why people can have nose bleeds and in most cases, it is not a serious problem. Only when the nose bleed is frequent is it a problem and needs immediate medical intervention.

A sudden nose bleed is usually not too much of a problem as long as it is not chronic. This is because, chronic nose bleeds can be a symptom of other diseases such as high blood pressure or other bleeding disorders. In this article, we will take a look at the most common causes of nose bleeds in adults.

Some of the causes of nosebleeds in children such as objects stuck in the nose and nose picking can be discounted in adults. There are however a number of other reasons for nosebleeds in adults. Let us take a look at them.

  • Very Cold or Dry Air: When the air that we breathe is very cold or dry, it dries out the insides of the nostrils. Our nostrils, especially the portion up to which there is a division in the nostrils, is rich in a number of tiny blood vessels which are very close to the surface of the skin. When the skin dries out, they are prone to cracking, which will cause the blood vessels inside to rupture, causing a nose bleed.
  • Repeated Sneezing: Although not very common, continuous sneezing can cause nosebleeds because the force with which air is expelled through the nose is very high and can cause injury to the inside of the nose, resulting in a nosebleed.
  • Allergic Rhinitis: People who are allergic to different things starting from pollen to dust and dandruff should be very careful as this induces repeated sneezing which can result in nosebleeds. This is even more of a problem in areas with cold dry weather.
  • Barotrauma: Barotrauma is trauma to the ears and however unlikely it may seem, an injury to the ears can result in a nose bleed. This is because the ear is connected to the throat and the nose and any injury to the ears can result in an internal hemorrhage that results in bleeding in the nose.
  • Chemical Irritants: A number of chemicals will cause irritation when they come in contact with the skin. What many people do not realize is that even if they do not touch it, inhaling the vapor may be sufficient to irritate the skin of the nose and throat. If the chemical is powerful enough or if the exposure is long enough, it can result in the delicate skin on the inside of the nose getting damaged, leading to a nose bleed.
  • Bleeding disorders. There are a number of disorders which cause excessive bleeding of the nose such as hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, which causes excessive bleeding in people. Because the skin of the nose is very delicate, it is very easily injured and when coupled with a bleeding disorder, will result in chronic nose bleeds.

Other causes for nosebleeds in adults include:

  • Blowing the nose very hard
  • Surgery in the nose or face
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Overusing decongestant nasal sprays
  • Overusing blood thinning medication such as aspirin.

Treatment

Unless the nose bleed is caused due to an underlying illness, it is very easily treated. The recommended procedure to follow is as follows.
  • Sit on a chair.
  • Lean forward slightly so that the nose is tilted down.
  • Pinch the nostrils together and keep them closed for at least 10 minutes.
  • Breathe through the mouth while you do this.
  • Use cold compresses or ice packs on the forehead, cheeks and back of the neck to promote clotting.
  • Check after 10 or 15 minutes whether the bleeding has stopped. In most cases, 15 minutes will be sufficient to stop the nosebleed. If the bleeding has not stopped at the end of 20 minutes, go to a hospital.
Do not pick at your nose, blow your nose, or even sneeze hard for the next 24 hours. There may be a certain measure of discomfort due to the blood clotted inside the nostrils but doing any of this will reopen the injury and start the nose bleed once again.

References
  1. www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003106.htm
  2. www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Nosebleeds
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0003594/
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001816/
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002059/

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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