Nosebleeds are generally nothing more than a nuisance, especially annoying because they can happen anywhere and anytime. A nose bleed, when you’re at a family dinner (or on a first date), can be more than a bit uncomfortable. These periodic nosebleeds normally don’t last long and stop even faster when pressure is applied.
But nosebleeds are should be uncommon. So you may feel a little worried if you are having regular nosebleeds. After all, from the time we’re young children, we’re conditioned to associate bleeding with injury. It’s not surprising that you would find yourself wondering whether your bleeding nose is a sign that something’s not quite right.
What causes frequent nosebleeds?
Actually, there are several reasons why you may experience repeated nosebleeds, including the following.
Environmental causes: The most prevalent environmental reason for frequent nosebleeds is dry air. Dry air can irritate your nose, and result in a bloody nose.
Behavior: If you routinely and intensely blow your nose it can lead to nosebleeds.
Medication: Frequent nosebleeds can be caused by some medication. You should talk to us about any medication you’re taking if you experiencing a spike in nosebleeds.
Structural issues: Sometimes, your nose is simply shaped a little differently. These congenital problems can result in more recurrent nosebleeds over time.
Health conditions: There are certain health conditions that decrease or prevent your body’s ability to clot blood. This can trigger persisting nosebleeds.
Growths in the sinuses: In some instances, a polyp or tumor can grow in your sinuses. Frequent nosebleeds can happen when this is the situation.
Colds and allergies: Sometimes, those mucus membranes can really become dehydrated from an allergic reaction or a cold. And as you may have expected, more persistent nosebleed can be the outcome.
There are some relatively innocuous items on this list but there are also some very serious ones. So how can you tell when you should be worried or when it’s time to consult your doctor about your nosebleeds?
When to consult your doctor about your nosebleeds
The first thing to know is that if you have any concerns about your nosebleeds, it’s a good plan to get a consultation. A little peace of mind is never a bad thing! In general, you should schedule an appointment with us if:
- You’re currently having frequent nosebleeds and you haven’t seen a doctor before for this issue.
- They are occurring more frequently, or have become harder to get control of.
If necessary, we will help you figure out how to stop your nosebleeds and also identify their source.
When does a nosebleed require emergency care?
There are some emergency medical conditions that can trigger repeated nosebleeds. Emergency care is needed if:
- The nosebleed happens in a person younger than two years old.
- Your nosebleeds are causing you to have difficulty breathing even through your mouth.
- Your nosebleed is due to or happens immediately after trauma and injury.
- Your nosebleed creates more blood than you would expect. Essentially, if the bleeding is alarmingly heavy, head to the emergency room.
- Even after applying pressure for up to thirty minutes, your nose doesn’t stop bleeding.
- It’s important that you get somebody else to drive you to the emergency room if you determine you need emergency attention. That’s because loss of blood can impede your ability to operate a motor vehicle.
- Your condition can get significantly worse if you get dizzy or faint while driving.
Listen to your nose
If you’re worried about your persistent nosebleeds or something doesn’t feel quite right, it’s a good idea to make an appointment. As a general rule, if your nose bleeds 2-3 times a month, it’s probably something benign, such as allergies or dry air. But if your nose is bleeding 4 (or more than 4) times in a week, that could suggest something more severe.