Five Possible Reasons for Your Nosebleeds

Repetitive nosebleeds may signal an underlying medical condition.

Repetitive nosebleeds may signal an underlying medical condition.

Upward of 60 million Americans experience a nosebleed each year, and not because of clumsiness or someone’s mean right hook. Rather, many of these seemingly instantaneous nosebleeds have no immediately discernable cause. Here are five possibilities:

  1. Dry air: Winter is soon upon us, and with it many hours cozied upon the couch enjoying the warmth of your indoor heater. Trouble is, artificial heat can sap the moisture out of the air in an enclosed space and that can cause your nasal lining to dry out, leaving it highly susceptible to cracking and bleeding. Using a high quality humidifier inside can help keep this type of nosebleed at a minimum.
  2. Use of certain medications: Blood clotting is a necessary step in stopping or preventing a nose bleed. So use of any anticoagulant (blood-thinning) or anti-inflammatory medication can contribute to a nosebleed or hinder its being stopped. Common culprits are prescription medications like warfarin or clopidogrel, as well as over-the-counter drugs like aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDS) and any medication prescribed to treat irregular heartbeats or the effects of stroke or heart attack.
  3. Underlying health conditions: While they may seem harmless, some nosebleeds can be an indication of potentially serious underlying health conditions. These may include liver disease, kidney disease or heart conditions like hypertension (high blood pressure) and congestive heart failure.
  4. Drug and alcohol use: Chronic consumption of alcohol or certain illicit drugs such as cocaine can lower the blood’s ability to clot and cause frequent nosebleeds.
  5. Deviated septum: The nasal septum is the wall that separates your right and left nasal cavities. Normally, it’s perfectly straight. But when it’s deviated (leans to one side) air that enters the nose hits the septum where it curves. This causes the lining of the septum to dry, crack and bleed frequently.

An occasional nosebleed typically is nothing to worry about. However, if you or your child experience multiple nosebleeds in a week, or a nosebleed that lasts more than a few minutes or won’t stop with direct pressure, it’s highly recommended that you seek medical treatment. Call 904-461-6060 to schedule a consultation at St. Augustine Ear, Nose and Throat’s St. Augustine or Ponte Vedra locations.

St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat Holds Grand Opening Celebration

In celebration of its beautiful new Ponte Vedra location, St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat is holding a grand opening celebration on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 4pm – and you’re invited! Located in The Shoppes at St. Johns Oaks at 145 Hidden Road, Suite 123, the firm serves area residents with expert management of ear, nose and throat disorders, thyroid disease, allergies and medical spa procedures.

Founder and nationally renowned physician Dr. Kalpana DePasquale and her dedicated staff, including Dr. Zeeshan Aziz, MD, a board-certified ENT and thyroid specialist and aesthetic reconstructive facial plastic surgeon; and Amy Dugan, PA-C, a long-time physician assistant with experience in critical care, infectious disease and OBGYN, will be on hand to mingle with fellow members of the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce as well as current and prospective patients, friends and their families. Dr. DePasquale is board certified in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery and facial plastic surgery.

The beautifully appointed facility opened during the summer and features spacious reception areas; separate waiting rooms and exam rooms for patients of both St. Augustine Ear, Nose and Throat and its sister firm, Avanti Medical Spa; plus procedure and treatment rooms. Patients are welcome for walk-in and scheduled appointments Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am-4pm and Wednesday, 9am-noon.

Stop by to meet the staff; enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and a variety of non-alchoholic beverages; and take a chance on winning door prizes and raffles with all raffle proceed benefiting the 26.2 with Donna Foundation to support breast cancer research and care. The event is sponsored by Acclarent, Propel, Nurse on Call and A1 Imaging.

How to Know if you Need a Tonsillectomy

Is it a simple sore throat or tonsillitis?

Is it a simple sore throat or tonsillitis?

Sore throats are a dime a dozen, especially as the temperatures drop and we head into the cold and flu season that begins in September and runs through February. But sometimes, what you’re experiencing is far more serious than a run-of-the-mill throat infection. It just may be tonsillitis.

Because they produce certain types of disease-fighting white blood cells, your tonsils are considered your immune system’s first line of defense against bacteria and viruses that enter your mouth. Unfortunately, this means that your tonsils themselves are particularly vulnerable to inflammation or infection. What you think is a garden variety sore throat may actually be tonsillitis if it’s accompanied by:

  • Pain on one side of the throat
  • Painful or difficult swallowing
  • Hoarseness in your voice
  • High fever
  • Enlarged or swollen lymph nodes or glands in your neck
  • A white or yellow coating on your tonsils
  • Severe or recurring sore throat

Another clue is in the frequency of symptoms. A single case of tonsillitis likely will pass in about 10 days in children, slightly longer in adults. However, if you experience multiple episodes of tonsillitis in year, a tonsillectomy may be in order.

But a sore throat isn’t the only reason to consider a tonsillectomy. Obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder in which the throat muscles intermittently relax, blocking your airway and causing your breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep, also can be effectively addressed with a tonsillectomy.

If you have children, be aware that tonsillitis is more common in pre-pubescent youth because that’s the period during which the tonsil’s immune system function is most active. However, the condition can hit at any age.

If you believe you or your children are suffering a bout of tonsillitis or may be in need of a tonsillectomy, St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat can help. Call 904-461-6060 to schedule a consultation at our St. Augustine or Ponte Vedra locations.