The inside of your nose is lined with tissue that contains hundreds of tiny blood vessels. These blood vessels are fragile and bleed easily, making a nosebleed a common condition. Most of the time, nosebleeds are nothing to worry about and stop quickly after they start. However, nosebleeds that occur more than once a week can be the sign of a more serious health condition, so they should be monitored closely.
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Dry air is the most common cause of nosebleeds. Exposure to dry air causes the nasal membranes to dry out. This creates crusty build-up in the nose, which itches. When you scratch or pick at this crust, it irritates the lining of the nose, which can bleed. If your frequent nosebleeds occur primarily in the winter when you are running the heat, it is likely due to dry air. Consider investing in a humidifier to solve the problem.
Colds and Infections
Sometimes people with colds, sinus infections or other viruses that affect the nasal passages experience nosebleeds. When you have a cold or virus, the body creates extra mucus in response to the cold, and this irritates the lining of the nose. When you blow your nose repeatedly, this can lead to bleeding. Of course, winter is commonly thought of as "cold and flu season," so the combination of the cold symptoms and the dry air will make a nosebleed even more likely.
People with allergies are often prescribed antihistamines and decongestants to help them cope with their constantly runny, stuffy nose. While these medications can work wonders on allergy symptoms, they can also contribute to frequent nosebleeds, according to Nemours, a large children's health organisation. The medications not only dry out the excessive mucus, but they also dry out the nasal membranes, making the nose more prone to bleeding, especially if the patient is blowing his or her nose frequently after the medication wears off.
Nasal Cavity Shape
The shape of the nasal cavity can also lead to frequent nosebleeds. A deviated septum is a condition wherein the wall dividing the two nasal passages (the septum) is not in the exact middle of the nose. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, if the deviation is severe, the sinuses on one side of the nose will have difficulty draining completely, leading to repeated problems with sinus infections, nasal congestion and nosebleeds. A deviated septum can be repaired surgically.
Most causes of frequent nosebleeds are minor and treatable. However, if you are experiencing them on a regular basis, you should see your doctor because they can indicate a more severe medical problem. The Mayo Clinic states that frequent nosebleeds can be signs of a bleeding disorder or leukaemia, especially when accompanied by frequent unexplainable bruising. Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, a genetic disorder that creates blood vessel abnormalities, can also cause frequent nosebleeds. These conditions require medical diagnosis and intervention.
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