10 Causes of Nose Bleeds

causes of nose bleeds
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What causes nosebleeds? Why is my nose bleeding? Why do I have random nose bleeds?

Are these some of the questions you sometimes have in mind? Well, nose bleeding is a common experience that may sometimes become very worrying.

It has actually been attributed to the fact that the human nose contains several blood vessels which can easily bleed upon irritation.

But what causes random nose bleeds? Have it ever entered your mind to wonder what causes nose bleeding when it seems to be of no reason? It just happens?

Clinical studies suspect that it may be simply caused by dry air moving through the nose, drying and irritating the membranes that line the internal aspects of the nose.

Several incidences of nose bleeding occur during the winter days where indoor air becomes dry; especially when cold viruses move freely in the air.

Most nosebleeds occur in the frontal portion of the nasal septum, a tissue separating the two sides of the nose. If the type of nosebleed occurs in the frontal or anterior portion of the nasal septum, it may not always need the help of a trained medical professional for resolution.

Another type of nose bleeding can happen in a different part of the nose, taking place in the higher portion of the nasal septum. This can be very hard to control which may possibly result to serious complications.

Anterior nosebleeds originate from blood vessels called Kesselbach’s plexus. Posterior nosebleeds occur when an object or foreign material is inserted deeper into the nose. The latter is more serious and requires urgent medical attention.

The individual will require emergency care if bleeding continues for more than twenty minutes.

When the nose bleeding occurs as a result of head injury, immediate medical attention is also required as it may suggest a fracture in the skull.

In severe situations, an x-ray of the skull is important.

But alarming signs like repeated or severe nose bleeds may sometimes be only associated with minor irritations like colds that frequently occur.

The causes of nose bleeds can be divided into two classes: local and systemic factors.


Causes of Nose Bleeds

So what causes nosebleeds? There are several nosebleed causes that can be considered ranging from nasal injury to drug intake, etc. Anything that will distress the surface of nasal blood vessels can result to nose bleeding.

Below are some of the most common causes of nosebleeds among many individuals. However, it remains possible that some cases of a bleeding nose may occur without any known cause.

1. Blunt trauma

Blunt trauma describes the occurrence of a blunt injury. It is an injury that is non-penetrating in nature.

This kind of trauma implies an exertion of physical force unto a body part that eventually injure blood vessels like that of the nose, face, or any other parts of the body.

A blunt trauma of the nose is one of the most common causes of nosebleed identified in medical institutions. The trauma often results in nose bleeding because of the leakage of blood from weakened and injured blood vessels in the nose.

Besides blunt trauma is a broken nose, described as one among common trauma-related bloody nose causes, which refers to a break or crack of the cartilage or bone in the nose. This may display swelling around the nose or the nose itself.

nose bleeds trauma

2. Dry air

How does it work? What causes bloody noses when it comes to dry air?

The drying of the nasal membranes makes an individual more susceptible to infections and nose bleeding. In fact, it is actually the most common of all nose bleed causes.

It results from a lack of lubrication in the nasal membrane. The lack of lubrication causes crusting and makes it easy for nasal blood vessels to break.

Since dry air results to a cracking in the lining of the nose, it consequently leads to the development of nose bleeds or blood when blowing the nose.

Possible solutions to the nasal cracking may include: use of humidifiers while sleeping, use of nasal sprays that will help with lubrication, and humidification of the room environment.

3. High blood pressure

High blood pressure refers to high tension in the arteries that carries blood from the heart to different parts of the body. But what causes nose bleeds when a person is hypertensive?

High blood pressure increases the chances of developing many serious health problems like stroke or heart attack. When left unattended, it can lead to breakage of various blood vessels including those of the nose, thus, bleeding occurs.

Heavy or constant nose bleeds are possible and should be checked.

Can stress cause nose bleeds? Nosebleed causes distress. The stress can lead to increased body tension among many other distressing effects, so it can.

nose bleeds high blood pressure

4. Foreign objects in the nose

A person can be placed in danger when harmful materials or items are introduced in body openings like the nose, eyes, mouth, etc.

When a foreign object enters the nose which can be really dangerous, one of the many ways the body responds is by nose bleeding.

This has long been common in children who put themselves on choking hazard or serious injury out of curiosity.

5. Common cold effects

It is a viral infection that is characterized by sneezing, headaches, and runny nose.

Common colds is one of the many reasons for nosebleeds that causes irritation of the nose resulting in the rupture of nasal blood vessels.

When displaying common colds, irritation can be reduced by avoiding the picking of the nose or any disturbances towards the nose.

It will help minimize the chances of nose bleeding.

Note that some medications used to cure common colds may increase the urge of scratching the nose, which may consequently stimulate and cause the breaking of nasal blood vessels leading to nose bleeding.

6. Ear barotrauma

This condition causes disturbances in the ear, and sometimes, the nose. Ear barotrauma is usually caused by a change in humidity and altitude. It commonly affects people in flights and those that swim in deep waters.

The condition is not harmful, but frequent ear barotrauma can result to nose bleeding making it one of many possible causes of bloody nose.

7. Platelet dysfunction

A drop in platelet levels can also be a cause of nosebleeds considering that platelets have the function of protecting the body against loss of blood brought about by bleeding.

In any situation where platelet disorder has developed, for instance, thrombocytopenia, the body loses the ability to enable hemostasis, resulting in excessive blood loss during vascular injury. Individuals with such complications will be vulnerable to nose bleeding.

nose bleeds platelet dysfunction

8. Use of anticoagulant medications and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)

Blood clotting is paramount in preventing and stopping the loss of blood. But what causes a bloody nose when taking NSAIDS or anticoagulant medications?

There are medications that affect the normal ability of the blood to form clots, where in some occasions, causes a bleeding nose. Some anticoagulant prescription medications include warfarin and aspirin.

Due to these, it places the intake of medications as one of many well-known causes of nose bleeds.

9. Underlying health conditions

Liver disease, kidney disease, chronic alcohol consumption, and many other medical conditions can impair the ability of the body to regulate blood properly.

When the condition complicates, the onset of frequent nose bleeds (sometimes excessive nose bleeds is possible) may take place.

Several medical disorders can be primary causes of nose bleeding which will necessitate immediate medical attention. Also, cardiovascular concerns like congestive heart failure can cause nose bleeds.

nose bleeds chronic alcohol intake

10. Allergy

Allergic responses that result in inflammation can cause nosebleeds.

Inflammation, especially those of the mucous membranes of the nose, result in irritation of the nose; breaking several blood vessels which eventually leads to blood loss through the nose.

Key Takeaway:

Blood loss in the nose may sometimes seem to be a normal thing. But it can, however, suggest a very serious health complication that will certainly require immediate medical attention. Talk to your doctor if you have frequent or chronic nosebleeds.

Nose bleeding can be stopped at home but may also need the help of a trained medical professional to guide you with the treatment.

Nosebleeds can be very scary, mostly because they may involve a lot of blood. However, it is usually never a real threat to health, and thus, need not to cause too much panic.

Children will be more scared compared to adults, and it is worth noting that only 10% of nose bleeding problems are attended to by doctors.

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About the Author:

Melissa Gomez, RN, MSN is a board certified nurse and has been a contributing writer for the past five years. Ms. Gomez has a special focus on platelet-related illness prevention and health promotion.

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