Bar those blessed with strong noses, most people should have experienced a nosebleed in their life, whether to aridity, picking or blowing your nose. Persistent nosebleeds, however, can be symptoms of intranasal lesions, blood disorders, and even nasopharyngeal tumors. If you suffer from persistent nosebleeds, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible. Treatments for non-tumor related and unexplainable nosebleeds include vascular coagulation and electrocoagulation.
Causes of nosebleeds
In general, nosebleeds can be categorized as anterior nosebleeds and posterior nosebleeds. Anterior nosebleeds are related to damage to blood vessels under the mucosa of the nasal septum, where dense networks of sensitive and fragile capillaries can rupture and cause bleeding.
In fact, most people can attribute persistent nosebleeds to a structural issue where submembrane capillaries are unusually shallower and more prone to swelling. During arid times, nose picking and blowing, and sneezing, the submembrane capillaries can burst, causing an anterior nosebleed. By the same reasoning, people afflicted with the common cold often find themselves experiencing nosebleeds, as the continued sneezing and nose blowing swells the capillaries. Additionally, patients who are afflicted with intranasal lesions such as nasal inflammation, nasal sensitivity, deviated nasal septum, are more predisposed to experience a nosebleed. Finally, patients who are afflicted with blood disorders such as hemophilia, low platelet count, abnormal blood vessel growth or liver problems, etc. may experience impeded coagulation function, causing nosebleeds.
A normal nosebleed can be stopped within 5 minutes by simply applying pressure at the nasal. If you are experiencing a heavy nosebleed, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible. If appropriate, a doctor will arrange a fiberoptic nasopharyngolaryngoscopy to inspect the nasopharynx, nasal cavity, and throat; and if necessary, a blood test to further inspect the platelets.
Excluding nose-lesions and blood disorders, patients who experience persistent nosebleeds can receive vascular coagulation, and in severe cases, electrocoagulation where relevant vessels are amputated using electrosurgical equipment. As for patients who have impeded coagulation function, a nasal artery ligation surgery can be performed. Finally, if the nasal membrane is found to be injured, ointment can be prescribed to reduce reopening of the wound.
Nosebleed nasopharyngeal carcinoma
Posterior nasal bleeding, where blood will ooze out of the mouth and nose at the same time during a nosebleed, features more blood flow and is more common in nasopharyngeal cancer patients. A common cancer found in Hong Kong, its symptoms include nosebleeds, blood flow in the mouth cavity, nasal discharge or bloody sputum, and nasal congestion, with the discharged blood being a much darker shade of red. If you experience such symptoms, seek medical advice as soon as possible.