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Jul 12, 2012

Healthy Living treats a nose bleed

More frightening than it is serious, nosebleeds can occur at any time to children and adults alike. This week, Healthy Living takes a closer look at the causes of the condition and gets the doctor’s advice on how to respond to this common occurrence.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

For many of us the mere sight of blood gets us squeamish. Perhaps this is why when a person has a nosebleed for the first time it can cause others around to get into a frenzy. Nosebleeds, though, are nothing more than a nuisance. Ear Nose & throat specialist, Dr Atanascio Cob, sees a wide array of cases from the very serious to the minor conditions like this one.


Atanascio Cob

Dr. Atanascio Cob, Ear Nose & Throat Specialist

“Nosebleeds are very common condition it happens very frequently in children and adults. It is quite a frightening experience to have your children or your child bleeding especially if you don’t know if your child has hit himself and suddenly it starts spontaneously. So nosebleeds occur commonly and the most frequent causes are trauma. If the child hits himself or the adult hits himself with an elbow or so on. The other common things are flues, little upper respiratory tract infections, sinuses anything that would dry the nasal passages and make the mucus crusty and for it to break.  Even though it is a frightening situation, it’s not a life threatening condition. Unless there is a severe accident where the nose has been smashed and then all the blood vessels have are gushing blood and so on.”


The breaking of the membranes in the nose is also caused by from dry winter air, nose picking or even the shape of your nose.


Dr. Atanascio Cob

“In adults, there are other things that can cause it. Besides infection, there is if the nose is twisted, the septum (the middle part of the nose) cases the air to come in, get a little whirlwind and that whirlwind effect dries the mucus membranes. High blood pressure frequently associated, but it is not common for high blood pressure patients. Other things that will make a patient bleed are blood disorders and hemophilic conditions.”


The nose has a very rich supply of blood, so when vessels break it bleeds profusely. Stopping the bleeding depends on where it is. Blood vessels may break in the frontal part of the nose or the nearer to the back of the nose. The ones in front are the easier ones to control.


Dr. Atanascio Cob

“In the children and the adults that bleed in the front of the nose it is very easy to control. Remember that the nose have very, very rich blood supplies so it bleeds very much, but it doesn’t mean that the person will bleed to death.  The most frequent thing to do is, if there are any clots, let the child or adult blow it out and then put little pressure in the middle part of the nose just pressing like this for about five to ten minutes and usually that will stop it. If that doesn’t control the bleeding, then you have to go to the hospital. Other little things that you can do, if your child or the adult has a flu, if you can get to the pharmacy and get a little bit of aphrin which is a decongestant. It constricts the blood vessels so if you squeeze a little bit of aphrin inside the nose. It constricts the blood vessels and makes the bleeding stop much faster.”


If you can’t control the bleeding it may be because the source is further back in the nose. At this point you should visit the doctor. There are number of ways to stop bleeding include a catheter and other medical instruments. During this time patients are normally admitted just to  ensure oxygen levels are kept at a healthy level.


Dr. Atanascio Cob

“It’s not as uncommon as you think especially in adults. In children it’s very rare but in adults, yes.”


Parents are advised to recognize triggers in order to prevent further nosebleeds. While, adults should be sure to investigate the causes of their nosebleeds.


Dr. Atanascio Cob

“If in children, it is really a simple problem—nothing to really be worried about. In adults, if the bleeding doesn’t stop easily and you may have problems with taking medication, the best thing is to go to the hospital to get attention.”

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