A nosebleed is loss of blood from the tissue lining the nose. Bleeding most commonly occurs in one nostril only.
Bleeding from the nose; Epistaxis
Nosebleeds are very common. Most nosebleeds occur because of minor irritations or colds. They can be frightening for some patients, but are rarely life threatening.
The nose contains many small blood vessels that bleed easily. Air moving through the nose can dry and irritate the membranes lining the inside of the nose, forming crusts. These crusts bleed when irritated by rubbing, picking, or blowing the nose.
The lining of the nose is more likely to become dry and irritated from low humidity,
Most nosebleeds occur on the front of the nasal septum, the tissue that separates the two sides of the nose. The septum contains many fragile, easily damaged blood vessels. This type of nosebleed can be easy for a trained professional to stop. Less commonly, nosebleeds may occur higher on the septum or deeper in the nose. Such nosebleeds may be harder to control.
Occasionally, nosebleeds may indicate other disorders such as
Frequent nosebleeds may also be a sign of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (also called HHT or
Blood thinners such as Coumadin, Plavix, or aspirin may cause or worsen nosebleeds.
- An object stuck in the nose
- Blowing the nose very hard
- Direct injury to nose, including a
- Nose picking
- Overuse of decongestant nasal sprays
- Surgery on the face or nose
- Taking large doses of aspirin or blood-thinning medicine
Upper respiratory infection
- Very cold or very dry air
Repeated nosebleeds may be a symptom of another disease such as high blood pressure, allergies, a bleeding disorder, or a tumor of the nose or sinuses.
Review Date: 08/02/2011
Reviewed By: Alan Lipkin, MD, Otolaryngologist, Private Practice, Denver, Colorado. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.