Nose bleeding common in men than in women. Everyone is familiar with the bloody nose (nose bleed), everyone gets it sometimes in his or her life. Only a minority of people with a bloody nose visit a doctor and therefore there are no good numbers of the occurrence. Nasal bleeding is more common in men than in women.
Regarding the relationship between nose bleeding and age, two peaks are seen: one at childhood and young adult age, with nose-picking and accidents being the most important causes, and one at age 65+, with vein calcification and the use of blood thinners being the main causes.
Symptoms of a bloody nose
The causes of nosebleed can be divided into two groups:
- Nosebleed where the cause lies in the nose itself
- Nasal bleeding as a result of a condition elsewhere in the body
Nasal bleeding where the cause lies in the nose itself. The most well-known cause is spontaneous bleeding from the site of Kiesselbach; this is a network of small blood vessels in the nasal septum. Bleeding can easily occur here in the event of an infection, accident, arteriosclerosis, dehydration or nose picking.
Other causes can be a foreign object in the nose (such as a bead) or, rarer, a good or malignant tumor in the nose.
Nosebleeds due to a condition elsewhere in the body. The use of blood thinners (especially acenocoumarol, and too much lesser extent salicylates, such as acetylsalicylic acid and aspirin) gives an increased chance of getting a nosebleed. Infectious diseases can also cause nosebleeds. This is then caused by local damage, but also by fever and increased blood flow to the nasal mucosa.
Furthermore, nose bleeds can be caused by severe high blood pressure and in rare cases by blood clotting disorders (in the case of a deficiency, platelets or coagulation factors).
Is it serious and what can you expect?
Usually, a nosebleed is not a problem and it will go away on its own or with the help of simple measures (see “what can you do about it?”). In older people, a bloody nose can be a sign of atherosclerosis. If there is severe arteriosclerosis, symptoms such as chest pain (angina pectoris, caused by severe calcification of blood vessels in the heart) can occur.
One can also get display legs (leg pain when walking, caused by severe calcification of leg arteries). And a stroke can also be caused by severe atherosclerosis. When a nosebleed occurs in combination with one or more of these problems, then there is a serious medical problem and immediate contact with the doctor must be sought.
If you get a spontaneous nose with the use of blood thinners, it is advisable to inform your doctor or thrombosis service so that the dosage of the blood thinners can be adjusted so that serious consequences can be prevented.
When to the doctor?
If the measures mentioned in the next chapter do not help and there is still a sore nose, it is advisable to consult your doctor for further advice or measures. This will briefly ask you some questions and try to get a picture of the bleeding in the nose. In the event of major bleeding, blood pressure and Hb (blood tests for anemia) are also measured.
With major bleeding, the doctor will try to stop the bleeding by inserting a tampon into the affected nostril. If the bleeding still persists then the doctor refers to the ENT doctor. If the bleeding stops using the tampon, it must remain in place for two days; if the nose starts bleeding again after removing the tampon, a referral to the ENT specialist is still necessary (this is not often the case).
Some general practitioners have a small burner or an etching fluid with which they can close the bleeding if they can find it. This is especially useful with recurring nosebleeds.
What can you do about it yourself?
If you have a bloody nose then you can try the pinch method yourself. This goes as follows:
- You must sit in a slightly bent position so that blood that runs behind the nasal throat can spit out easily
- You must then blow the nose well to remove any clots
- Next, the bleeding nose half on the nose wing, just below the nose bone, should be pinched with light pressure for ten minutes. Pay close attention to the time, because often it is pressed too close
- If this is successful, you must leave the nose alone for at least two days, so do not blow or pick
General advice and precautions
It is wise to pay attention to the correct posture with the pinch method: a wrong technique can stand in the way of success. Not picking nose is the most important, if not the only, measure to prevent nose bleeding properly.
When nasal hemorrhage keeps recurring, it may sometimes be useful to use an agent such as xylomethazoline nasal drops, but not longer than one week, as they can damage the mucous membrane in the nose in the longer term.
Nose bleeding common in men than in women