Thursday, January 22, 2009


Epistaxis (or a nosebleed in plain English) is the relatively common occurrence of hemorrhage from the nose, usually noticed when the blood drains out through the nostrils. There are two types: anterior (the most common), and posterior (less common, more likely to require medical attention). Sometimes in more severe cases, the blood can come up the nasolacrimal duct and out from the eye. Fresh blood and clotted blood can also flow down into the stomach and cause nausea and vomiting. It accounts for only 0.001%[1] of all deaths in the U.S.Contents

The cause of nosebleeds

The cause of nosebleeds can generally be divided into two categories, local and systemic factors, although it should be remembered that a significant number of nosebleeds occur with no obvious cause.

Local factors
Anatomical deformities (eg. septal spurs or Osler-Weber-Rendu Syndrome)
Blunt trauma (usually a sharp blow to the face, sometimes accompanying a nasal fracture)
Foreign bodies (such as fingers during nose-picking)
Inflammatory reaction (eg. acute respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis, allergic rhinitis or environmental irritants)
Insufflated drugs (particularly cocaine)
Intranasal tumors (eg. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma or nasopharyngeal angiofibroma)
Low relative humidity of inhaled air (particularly during cold winter seasons)
Nasal prong O2 (tending to dry the olfactory mucosa)
Nasal sprays (particularly prolonged or improper use of nasal steroids)
Otic barotrauma (such as from descent in aircraft or ascent in scuba diving)
Surgery (eg. septoplasty and Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery)