Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology
Allergists & Otolaryngology located in Rancho Mirage, CA & La Quinta, CA
Nosebleeds or epistaxis are unlikely to be a symptom of a serious disorder. However, if you or your child gets frequent or heavy nosebleeds, it's best to seek expert advice from Majid Torabi, MD, FACS, and Ryan Salvador, MD, of Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology. They can determine what's causing the epistaxis and use the most appropriate treatment to address problem nosebleeds. To schedule a consultation and find a solution to epistaxis, call your nearest Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology office today or book an appointment online.
Epistaxis Q & A
What is epistaxis?
Epistaxis is the medical term for nosebleeds. The nose can produce quite a lot of blood because there are numerous blood vessels close to the inner surfaces of your nasal passages. Nosebleeds can look alarming, but in most cases, epistaxis isn't anything to worry about.
One common cause of epistaxis is dry air, which makes your nasal membranes lose moisture content, leaving them vulnerable to bleeding. Other causes of epistaxis include:
- Nose picking
- Common cold
- Deviated septum
- Foreign object in the nose
- Frequent use of nasal sprays
Less commonly, epistaxis may result from having conditions like hemophilia, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), leukemia, nasal and paranasal tumors, or nasal polyps.
The use of blood-thinning medications like warfarin can also make you more susceptible to nosebleeds.
Should I seek medical attention for epistaxis?
Usually, medical treatment isn't necessary for epistaxis, but there are times when it's wise to contact Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology for advice. If you have frequent bouts of epistaxis – more than one per week – it's important to find out why, even if they stop without too much problem.
Call the team if your nosebleed is producing more blood than normal or your nose won't stop bleeding – most nosebleeds stop in under 30 minutes, especially if you apply compression to your nose. If the bleeding is affecting your breathing, you should also seek help.
Epistaxis that occurs after a trauma to your head or affects a child under two also requires investigation.
What treatments are there for epistaxis?
If you have a nosebleed, sit upright and lean forward to avoid swallowing blood. Try pinching your nose shut and breathing through your mouth to stem the flow of blood. It may take 10-15 minutes for this to work.
Avoid picking or blowing your nose when the bleeding stops, and don't bend down for the next few hours. You can help prevent nosebleeds by using petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or a saline (salt water) spray to keep your nasal membranes moist.
Specific epistaxis treatments depend on the cause of your nosebleeds, but could include:
Your provider at Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology can pack gauze, an inflatable latex balloon, or special nasal sponges into your nose for 24-48 hours to put pressure on the bleeding veins.
Cauterization involves applying heat or using a chemical substance to seal the bleeding vessel. Your provider sprays a local anesthetic into your nose to numb it before cauterization.
Medication might occasionally be necessary for epistaxis, or you could undergo ligation, where your provider ties off the problem blood vessel.
For help with severe or frequent epistaxis, call Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology today or book an appointment online.
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