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Epistaxis (also called a nosebleed) refers to a minor bleeding from the blood vessels of the nose. Epistaxis is a commonly-found complaint, especially in fields of emergency medicine related to the treatment of ear, nose, and throat (ENT) conditions. Epistaxis more commonly occurs in children (ages 2–10) and older adults (ages 50–80).

What causes epistaxis?

Local causes

Local causes of epistaxis can include local trauma caused by nose-picking, a foreign body in the nose, anatomic irregularities such as a deviated septum, facial trauma, incorrect or excessive use of topical nasal sprays, inflammatory reactions, and rarely intranasal tumors.

Systemic causes

Some systemic conditions that increase the risk of epistaxis include high blood pressure (hypertension), vascular malformations, cardiovascular diseases, and bleeding disorders like von Willebrand disease and hemophilia A and B.


Some medications can predispose individuals to epistaxis. This is especially true for blood thinners, which interfere with blood clotting.

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