NOSEBLEEDS

(Epistaxis)

Nosebleeds have a variety of causes, most of which are minor. Most nosebleeds are caused by the rupture of small blood vessels in the anterior section of the nasal septum. There are often obvious causes like a blow to the nose, irritation from a foreign body, excessive nose-blowing during a cold or sinusitis and nose-picking. Nosebleeds can also occur during menstruation. Some people suffer more from nosebleeds than others.

Occasionally nosebleeds are related to more serious illnesses and injuries such as the presence of polyps or other growths in the nose, high blood pressure, allergies to certain foods, vitamin deficiencies and conditions like haemophilia.
Arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, can cause nosebleeds in old people, while in children they are sometimes a symptom of rheumatic fever.

When bleeding from the nose cannot be sourced to a blood vessel inside the nose, it may indicate an internal injury. The blood may be caused by a skull fracture or injury to the stomach or lungs. If the nose bleeds regularly or excessively, or if the bleeding is difficult to stop, medical advice should be sought. Persistent bleeding may require cauterisation of the blood vessel.

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