Adult nosebleeds have often been associated with unfavorable changes in weather, intake of blood thinners and bleeding disorders.
As the name suggests, nosebleed is a condition in which bleeding occurs inside the nose. The blood vessels within this protruding part of the body are extremely delicate and hence, are susceptible to damage. Contrary to the popular belief that the incidence of nosebleed is higher in children, a recent report reveals that nosebleed is more common in the elderly in the age group of 50 – 60. Although there are various causes of nosebleeds in adults, it is often linked to underlying medical condition.
When the tissues that line the nasal passages of the nose suffer from loss of blood, reasons associated with it may vary from infection of the respiratory tract to as complicated as bleeding disorders. Bleeding from the nose has also been attributed to certain medicines that reduce clotting action of blood. It is discussed below:
The habit of excessively scratching the nose with fingernails can damage the delicate blood vessels of the tissues inside the nose, eventually leading to nosebleeds. Also, most people in an attempt to get rid of snot from nose, tend to blow the nose very hard. This improper way of clearing the nose can also produce damaging results that manifest in the form of nosebleeds.
Nosebleeds are common in cold climatic conditions. Bleeding from the tissues that line the nose is a frequent complaint during cold weather. The rising mercury in hot summer days can make the inside part of the nose extremely dry, which may also result in nosebleeds.
People taking blood thinners like aspirin, plavix and coumadin may also suffer from nosebleeds. These medicines are basically formulated to prevent blood from clotting. This action of aspirin helps to break dangerous blood clots that restrict blood supply to the heart. However, its ability to reduce blood clotting can trigger nosebleeds. Tendency to bleed easily is often observed in patients taking these medicines. No wonder, nosebleeds frequently occur in people who take these blood thinners on a regular basis. There also have been cases of nosebleeds worsening in patients put on blood thinners.
Frequent or chronic nosebleeds can also mean that the person is suffering from nose bleeding disorder. When the blood contains less than normal amounts of platelets, people tend to bleed frequently. Platelets are cells that stick to each other, which is crucial to stop bleeding and form clots. However, those diagnosed with low platelet count or with a faulty platelet function are predisposed to bleeding and so may frequently get nosebleeds.
Sinus infections and other respiratory problems like common cold or flu that are typically marked by stuffy nose are common in the months of winter. These seasonal infections can irritate the membranes of the nose, which may cause bloody nose in adults.
People often tend to use nasal decongestants during a sinus infection. Although, this may help to improve breathing, too much use of the decongestants can cause excessive sinus dryness. This consequence of using decongestants frequently can also trigger adult nosebleeds.
One of the best ways to stop nosebleeds is to pinch the nose and breathe from the mouth. Keeping the nostrils closed for approximately 10 minutes does help to halt bleeding. Once the bleeding from the nose has come to a standstill, scratching or blowing the nose can trigger recurring episodes of nosebleeds and so has to be avoided for the time being. Also, one should not lie down as the blood flows in the upward direction. So the blood pressure in the head rises, thereby putting more pressure on the blood vessels below it. As a result, the damaged capillaries in the nose reeling under the burden of this excess pressure may bleed profusely, making it quite difficult to stop nosebleeds.
On the whole, occasional nosebleeds in adults are not a cause for concern and are often related to climatic changes. However, frequent nosebleeds are suggesting bleeding disorders and demand immediate medical attention.