Bleeding from Nose

Ear Nose | Otorhinolaryngology | Bleeding from Nose (Symptom)


Bleeding from the nose is called in medicine as epitaxis. A nosebleed implies hemorrhage from the nose, usually observed when the blood drains out from the nostrils. There are two types of epitaxis: anterior and posterior, but most common is anterior. 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.


The causes of nosebleeds can generally be divided into two categories - local and systemic factors - although a significant number of nosebleeds occur with no obvious cause. Trauma to the face can cause nasal injury and bleeding.

Nosebleeds can occur spontaneously when the nasal membranes dry out and crack. This is common in dry climates. Some medication as aspirin or wafarin can also cause nose bleed.

The following factors predispose people to nosebleeds: infection, trauma, including self-induced by nose picking, especially in children, allergic and non-allergic rhinitis, hypertension (high blood pressure), use of blood thinning medications, alcohol abuse. Less common causes include tumors and inherited bleeding problems, anemia, vitamin C and vitamin K deficiency, heart failure.

Nosebleeds are rarely dangerous unless prolonged and heavy. Particularly in posterior bleeds, though, a great deal of blood may be swallowed and thus blood loss underestimated. Recurrent nosebleeds may cause anemia due to iron deficiency. The flow of blood normally stops when the blood clots may be encouraged by direct pressure applied by pinching the soft fleshy part of the nose.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Most people who develop nose bleeding can handle the problem without the need of a physician if they follow the first aid recommendations.