Epistaxis

Epistaxis: Description, Causes and Risk Factors:Alternative Names: Nasal hemorrhage, nosebleed.Bleeding from inside the nose is a common complaint presenting an emergency. Epistaxis is often a frightening sight to the patient and the attendants, especially if the patient is a kid. There are a variety of causes which can lead to bleeding from the nose.Blowing your nose hard - also blowing your nose too frequently.
  • Picking the inside of your nose - especially if this is done often, if the fingernails are long, and if the inside of the nose is already irritated or tender.
  • A knock or blow to the nose - could damage the delicate blood vessels of the mucous membrane.
  • Fracture of the nasal bones.
  • Deviated septum - when the wall separating the two nostrils is off center, or deviated.
  • Climate - hot climates with low humidity or changes from bitter cold to warm, dry climates can cause drying and cracking inside the nose, which can lead to a nosebleed.
  • High altitude - as altitude increases, the availability of oxygen decreases, making the air thinner and drier. The dryness could cause the nose to bleed.
  • Nasal allergies.
  • Excessive use of certain kinds of medications, such as anticoagulants (blood thinners) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen.
  • Liver disease can interfere with blood clotting and result in frequent and/or severe nosebleeds.
  • Excessive use of illegal drugs, such as cocaine.
General Causes:
  • Hypertension - commonly seen in old age.
  • Heart diseases.
  • Pregnancy.
Infections:Viral rhinitis (infection of the nose).
  • Acute sinusitis.
  • Acute general infections like typhoid, pneumonia, malaria, dengue fever, measles etc.
Others:
  • Any growth in the nasal cavity, like polyps, benign or malignant tumors.
Epistaxis has been reported to occur in up to 60 percent of the general population. The condition has a bimodal distribution, with incidence peaks at ages younger than 10 years and older than 50 years. Epistaxis appears to occur more often in males than in females.Symptoms:EpistaxisThe main symptom of a nosebleed is blood coming out of the nose, which can range from light to heavy. The blood comes out of either nostril (usually only one nostril is affected).Diagnosis:A thorough medical history for previous bleeding, high blood pressure, use of anticoagulants, liver diseases, nasal trauma, family history of bleeding etc. should be taken.
  • Analysis of blood coagulation parameters.
  • Measurement of the blood pressure and x-rays of the skull and the sinuses may be necessary.
Treatment:The procedure for how you stop your nose from bleeding is as follows:Sit down with a slight forward lean, don't lie down.
  • Gently squeeze the soft part of your nose together.
  • Breath through your mouth.
  • Keep your nostrils squeezed for 10 minutes.
Nasal bleeding usually responds to first-aid measures such as compression. When epistaxis does not respond to simple measures, the source of the bleeding should be located and treated appropriately. Treatments to be considered include topical vasoconstriction, chemical cautery, electrocautery, nasal packing, posterior gauze packing, use of a balloon system, and arterial ligation or embolization. Topical or systemic antibiotics should be used in selected patients. Hospital admission should be considered for patients with significant comorbid conditions or complications of blood loss. Referral to an otolaryngologist is appropriate when bleeding is refractory, complications are present, or specialized treatment (balloon placement, arterial ligation, angiographic arterial embolization) is required.Disclaimer:The above information is just informative purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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