What is epistaxis (nosebleed)?
Epistaxis, also most commonly known as nosebleed, is one of the most common ear, nose, and throat (ENT) emergencies. Epistaxis occurs when the tiny vessels lining the nose breaks, leading to bleeding from the nasal cavity.
What causes epistaxis?
There are various causes. It can occur spontaneously or initiated by trauma. However, some risk factors for epistaxis can include:
- Cold and allergies
- Deviated septum
- Use of certain medication such as blood thinners
- Dry and hot climate
When should you seek medical help for epistaxis?
While majority of nosebleed is harmless, there are instances where nosebleed can be a real emergency. Seek medical help when you experience:
- Nosebleed that lasts for more than 20 minutes
- Frequent nose bleeding
- Nosebleed caused by foreign body in the nasal cavity
What are the treatments?
Minor nosebleed can be stopped with proper intervention. Common misconception such as tilting the head back to allow blood to flow back is not advised. Nosebleed can usually be stopped by applying pressure at the soft part of the nose, above the nostrils, and tilting the head forward. However, in more severe cases of nose bleed, other treatments may be needed. Treatment options include:
The ENT specialist will insert gauze or sponges into the nasal cavity to apply direct pressure onto the blood vessel.
Silver nitrate cauterisation
This procedure involves the specialist applying silver nitrate in the nasal cavity to seal the bleeding blood vessel.
How can I prevent epistaxis?
- Do not pick your nose
- Use a humidifier to keep the lining of the nose moist
- Blow the nose gently
- Wear protective gear when engaging in activities that could result in nose or head injuries
- Limit the use of medication that can increase bleeding. Medication adjustment should only be done under a physician’s orders
Make An Appointment
Make an appointment or contact the ENT clinic to consult an ENT Specialist about your condition. To make an appointment, select "Specialist Appointment". Under Specialist Appointment Details, select "Ear, Nose & Throat".