Nosebleeds (Epistaxis) and Its Causes


Nosebleeds, also known as epistaxis, occur when blood flows from one or both nostrils. They can be caused by various factors such as dry air, nose picking, blowing nose with force, tumour, health issues, physical trauma, and medication side effects.

Nosebleeds, or epistaxis, are a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the most common causes is dry air, which can cause the nasal membranes to become dry and irritated, leading to nosebleeds. This is particularly common during the winter months when the air is dry and heaters are turned on.

Another common cause of nosebleeds is nose picking. This can irritate the nasal membranes and cause them to bleed. Blowing your nose too forcefully can also cause nosebleeds, as can inserting objects into your nose, such as fingers, cotton swabs, or pencils.

Some nasal tumours like angiofibromas and other vascular tumours of the nose can cause nose bleeds – sometimes severe and significant bleeding can occur.

Health issues such as respiratory infections and sinusitis can also lead to nosebleeds by causing a blocked or stuffy nose. Physical trauma due to injuries or falls can also cause nosebleeds. In addition, some medications, such as blood thinners, can increase the risk of nosebleeds.

Chemical irritants, such as cleaning products, perfumes, or other irritants, can also cause nosebleeds. Frequent use of nasal sprays and medications to treat a runny or stuffy nose can also increase the risk of nosebleeds. Allergies, particularly those that cause nasal congestion, can also lead to nosebleeds.

Finally, high altitudes with thin air can cause nosebleeds, particularly if you are not acclimated to the altitude. If you are traveling to a high-altitude location, it is important to take precautions to prevent nosebleeds, such as using a saline nasal spray to keep the nasal membranes moist.

Overall, nosebleeds are typically not a cause for concern and can be treated at home. However, if you experience recurrent nosebleeds or a single nosebleed in which a significant amount of blood has been lost, it is important to seek medical attention from an ENT specialist.