Have you noticed? It’s one of our favorite seasons already – winter!
With winter comes chilly nights cuddled up by a roaring fire and quality time spent with family and friends. But as always here at St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat, we want to share with you some of the most common ailments our patients come to us with during this time that you too may be experiencing.
This month we’re discussing the common nosebleed. The medical term, epistaxis, is described as an acute hemorrhage of blood from the nostril cavity, which may be mild to severe in the amount of blood loss, occurring chronically or randomly.
Why nosebleeds are common in the winter
Nosebleeds that happen in the winter are very common, and aren’t typically a severe or painful condition. The chill and lower temperature during these months can dry out the many blood vessels that run throughout your nose and cartilage, causing them to slightly crack and break. Other causes of a nosebleed include predisposition to respiratory infections and of course, blunt trauma.
Also, using aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications that thin out your blood can cause an otherwise mild incidence seem much more severe that it actually is. Other complications that can lead to a nosebleed include alcohol abuse and a predisposition to allergens and rhinitis.
How to treat a common nosebleed at home
If you experience a sudden nosebleed, whether at home, work, or in public, there are several things you can do to slow down the flow and treat mild occurrences.
- Pinch your nostrils together towards your septum, and push your nose in towards your face. Leaning forward slightly will allow the blood to flow out of your nose, rather than back up into the wound from which it’s escaping, or down your throat.
- Relax your body and have a seat. Depending on how severe the flow is, you could be losing a significant amount of blood from your head, causing you to feel woozy or dizzy. Relaxing your heart rate by sitting will also reduce the circulation.
Within 24 hours, try to:
- Stay off hot liquids, as they can thing your blood out. Eat soft, cold food.
- Avoid blowing your nose. This can re-open the wound from which your nosebleed came from.
- Avoid blood thinning agents like aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs and medications.
If nosebleeds are persistent, come see St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat and Dr. DePasquale
Here at St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat, we have several treatment options for those who are experiencing severe or chronic nosebleeds of any variety. Dr. Kalpana DePasquale is a board certified otolaryngologist, specializing in head and neck surgery, sinus and voice disorders, and facial plastic surgery.
First, we’ll locate the wound. In about 95% of cases, the wound can be identified by our doctors visually. We may apply temporary nose gauze that will close and heal the wound, fit and worn comfortably by you for a few days, called nasal packs.
Under mild local anesthesia, we may also apply a heating treatment or chemical application to close the wound. Finally, topic medications and lubrications may be prescribed to you that can easily be applied in the comfort of your own home to help heal the wound.
There’s no reason to be embarrassed by the incidence of a common nosebleed; it’s just that time of year. Remember to contact us today by visiting our website and scheduling an appointment if you’re experiencing persistent nosebleeds, and we’ll take care of you right away.