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Home Common Illness Epistaxis


Bleeding from inside the nose is a common complaint presenting an emergency. Epistaxis is often a frightening sight to the patient and the attendants, especially if the patient is a kid. There are a variety of causes which can lead to bleeding from the nose.

Local causes
  • » Finger nail trauma due to excessive nose picking. This is the most common cause among the children.
  • » Trauma to nose due to road traffic accident or being hit on the nose by a ball or fist.
  • » Fracture of the nasal bones.
  • » Viral rhinitis (infection of the nose).
  • » Acute sinusitis
  • » Foreign bodies in nose
  • » Deviation of the nasal septum
  • » Atmospheric changes such as sudden movement to high altitudes.
  • » Any growth in the nasal cavity, like polyps, benign or malignant tumors.
General Causes
  • » Hypertension – commonly seen in old age
  • » Heart diseases
  • » Pregnancy
  • » Bleeding disorders – when the patient has a deficiency in the system responsible for control of bleeding there is an abnormal tendency to bleed.
  • » Drugs- like excessive use of analgesics for pain.
  • » Acute general infections like typhoid, pneumonia, malaria, dengue fever, measles etc.
  • » Idiopathic - at times the cause of bleeding may not be clear.
- Don’t panic because most of the time bleeding can be controlled by pinching the nose tightly for about five minutes.

- Ice compress can be applied in the nose. They cause bleeding blood vessels to constrict & bleeding stops.

- If bleeding is profuse the patient should be taken to the doctor. It may require inserting packs in the nose to stop the bleeding.

- Hypertensive patients should take their blood pressure controlling medication regularly.

- Excessive nose picking is a very common cause of bleeding both in children & young adults and should be discouraged.

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