Nose bleed is also referred to as epistaxis in medical terminology. The term nosebleed itself is used to indicate a common and harmless symptom but may have an underlying cause related to a number of other diseases.
Nose bleed can be as a result of injury to the nasal cavity, congestion or even a high supply of blood to the local tissue which may lead to an increase in the frequency of nose bleed in a patient. The nose is also the most common part of the body that is subjected to trauma either intentionally or unintentionally.
The minute vessels that supply blood to the mucous membrane of the nasal cavity have minimum support to their structure and are also supplied by rich blood supply with the help of a complex network of micro blood vessels.
The most significant area in the mucous membrane that is subjected to trauma is referred to as the Kiesselbach’s plexus which is located in a tiny area at the anterior end of the nasal septum and 0.5cm away from the tip of the nose. The most common cause of nose bleed are the common cold and infections which may include rhinitis, nasopharyngitis etc.
Epistaxis can be a local or a systemic symptom. Local causes of nose bleed may include an alteration in the nasal septum such as a trauma to the cartilage or inflammation in the area.
The second local cause of nose bleed may be due to an injury to the mucosal or vascular layer of the nose which may be due to a simple nose picking or as severe as an aneurysm to the carotid artery.
Neoplasia is the third local cause of nose bleed which may be either benign or malignant in nature.
Prevention of nose bleed may only be done by the treatment of the underlying cause of the disease. However, this is only applicable in cases where in a certain underlying cause is identified. The patient can also be instructed as to how to avoid recurrences in the future.
These instructions may include the application of a nasal saline spray or drops applied twice or thrice per day. Humidifier can be installed to a furnace which can be turned on at night.
Patients are generally instructed to avoid blowing the nose forcefully and to sneeze with their mouth wide open. Anyone should also not probe the nose with any solid instrument such as cotton buds etc. Medications that are susceptible to increase bleeding are also to be avoided such as ibuprofen. Smoking is also contraindicated as it may dry out the nose and cause bleeding.