Anyone could feel worried whenever something unusual happens to our body. May it be a slight fever, cough, or anything that pertains to our health, these conditions can also be stressful to handle. They can hinder us from doing our daily activities and can also interrupt our work. It is, therefore, essential to pay attention to the reaction of our body and find some treatment before the problem gets worse.
One condition that we should not take for granted is nosebleed, which has medical name epistaxis. It is a condition in which blood comes out of the nose. But actually, the bleeding can occur on nasopharynx, or nasal cavity wherein the blood vessel in these areas may burst.
We have seen people who have experienced it, and most often, the bleed stops even without treating it. It may be because the tiny blood vessels situated in your nose are irritated or damaged. But, when can we tell that we should go to the doctor to find its cause? Is it something that we should worry about?
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In some cases, nosebleeding is a harmless condition. However, about 6% of the population who have experienced it requires medical attention. The treatment should still rely on the diagnostic tests and the period of existence of nosebleed. Its prolonged occurrence should tell the individual to consult a doctor to see if it is also associated with other health conditions like cancer.
Causes of nosebleed
- Chemical irritants
- Cold temperature
- Sinus problems
- Injury to the nose
Nosebleed is common to children aged three to ten. Sometimes, it only exists without even a cause. But it could be a sign that you have a severe condition most especially if it happens more than once. Some diseases that can cause it are kidney disease, platelet disorders, and sinus surgery.
The nasal cavity is a sensitive part of the nose. It is why it can get affected when heat is used to reduce the cold weather. It can produce dry air that circulates inside the room. The skin of the nasal can get cracked, and the sudden change in temperature can trigger the nose to bleed.
Although supplements are beneficial, some of them can also cause nosebleeds. It includes vitamin E, gingko biloba, ginger, garlic, and other types known to reduce platelets. Even consuming these products as food sources can also lead to this condition. They are usually consumed by people who want to lower their platelet count.
It can also occur if you are using certain medications such as antihistamines and corticosteroids. So, if you are using a blood thinner or anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, you have a higher chance of bleeding because they control the blood clotting.
When nosebleeds mean cancer
A nosebleed can also be a sign that a cancerous tumor is present in the nasal cavity, which is commonly called squamous cell carcinoma or SCC. This type of cancer affects the lining of the tissue and sometimes, the sinuses.
In some cases, cancer can also affect the bone or cartilage of the nose. Melanoma is one of the diseases that can develop in these areas. Aside from nosebleed, the patient may also experience other symptoms like a runny nose, facial pain, ear pressure, tooth pain, and stuffiness of nasal.
It can also be a sign that a person has leukemia, a condition in which the cancer cells in the bone marrow. In this case, the bone marrow produces too much cancerous blood cell and fewer blood cells. It will then lead to the reduction of platelets which are mainly formed in the bone marrow as well.
Platelets are responsible for blood clotting, and a fewer production of these elements can also cause bleeding. It is why people with leukemia often nosebleed and some bruises are appearing on any part of their body. This condition is common to adults, and in severe cases, chronic lymphocytic leukemia may occur.
Aside from nosebleed, other symptoms that can show up are fatigue, weakness, fever, swollen lymph nodes, bruising, and aching bones.
Another type of cancer that can lead to nosebleed is lymphoma. This type affects the lymphocytes which are part of our lymphatic system. This system has a vast network in different parts of the body. It includes the spleen, thymus, tonsils, lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels.
With this in mind, it can occur even on sinuses and nose. The growing cancer cells on the blood vessels on these areas can erode and thus, leads to nosebleed. This problem is common among people with Hodgkin disease which is also a type of lymphoma.
Sometimes, the disease itself is not the leading cause of a nosebleed. It can occur when the person with cancer undergoes chemotherapy treatment. It can reduce your platelet count, making it hard for the body to prevent bleeding. The doctor will reduce the dosage of the medication used for the chemo, or he may delay the schedule of the treatment until the platelet count return to normal.
When you should seek a medical attention
If the nosebleed keeps coming back, it is vital to consult a doctor right away. Report to the clinic or hospital immediately if the bleeding doesn’t stop for 20 minutes. You should not take it for granted even if you think you are feeling well in some parts of your body. It can also be a sign of a serious condition if you don’t have cold or injury and it appears frequently.
If the nosebleed occurs, make sure not lie down because the blood may flow at the back of your throat. Lean your head forward to avoid swallowing the blood. Pinch your nostrils for about 10 minutes and observe if the bleeding stops. Call your doctor immediately if the problem persists.
Avoid blowing your nose to prevent bleeding. Since dry nasal can cause a nosebleed, it is vital to place a humidifier on your room. Do not take any anti-inflammatory or non-steroidal medications since these drugs can decrease your platelets and cause bleeding.