– Repetitive nosebleeds: benign or more serious?
– What are the possible causes of recurrent nosebleeds?
A nosebleed is often not severe. But when it occurs frequently, it is helpful to talk to your doctor, who will determine if it is related to an underlying pathology.
Why do some people get frequent nosebleeds? Should you be concerned? Our article is here to answer your questions!
Recurrent nosebleeds: benign or more serious?
Epistaxis refers to bleeding from the nasal cavity, which comes out of one or both nostrils. It is generally benign, linked to a lesion of an area called the Kiesselbach’s plexus, strongly irrigated by blood vessels, following a scratching.
The bleeding is then weak, drop by drop, limited to a single nostril, and has no impact on the patient’s health. This type of epistaxis is common in young children.
When this bleeding occurs frequently, is particularly abundant, and involves both nostrils, it is important to look for the cause. Specific pathologies can indeed cause the appearance of this symptom alone or accompanied by other manifestations.
Certain physical signs indicate the more serious nature of a nosebleed:
– a change in heart rate or blood pressure;
– excessive sweating;
– Pallor of the face.
Good to know: the volume of blood that flows out of the nose does not always reflect the total amount of blood lost: some of it flows inwards, swallowed in the throat.
What are the possible causes of recurrent bleeding?
High blood pressure
High blood pressure (HBP) is a common condition that increases in frequency with age. By the age of 65, it affects about 40% of the population. It corresponds to excessive blood pressure on the arteries and favors the occurrence of cardiovascular accidents.
This disease is often silent, and many people suffer from it without being aware of it. However, medical management can ensure a better evolution of the disease. Thus, when a nosebleed appears in a person over 50 years old, it is essential to control this parameter, as epistaxis can have a premonitory value for the next appearance of hypertension.
Some diseases, such as hemophilia or Von Willebrand disease, are linked to a deficiency of coagulation factors in the blood. Therefore, they are prone to spontaneous bleeding, which can occur in the nose.
Taking certain medications, which thin the blood, can produce similar effects. These include:
– anti-coagulants, prescribed, for example, to people immobilized after a fracture to prevent the formation of clots in the blood.
The occurrence of epistaxis, in this case, may indicate that the prescribed dosage is too high.
Nosebleeds due to a tumor
Tumors, which grow in the nose or sinuses, can cause blood to flow. They can be:
– benign tumors: polyp, angioma, or nasopharyngeal fibroma ;
– malignant tumors, such as “carpenters’ cancer”, an occupational disease affecting people who regularly inhale wood dust, especially exotic wood dust, over a long period.
Nosebleeds and infection
Rhinitis and sinusitis, respectively, cause an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose and sinuses, leading to small bleedings. This bleeding stops as soon as the infection is eliminated.
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