Emergency room doctors commonly see nosebleeds. That’s because we know that bleeding isn’t normal. We tend to panic when we suddenly have blood dripping from our nose or into our mouth. Rarely should a nosebleed send you to the emergency room, but you may need to see an ENT doctor as soon as possible.

What are the causes of nosebleeds?

Some of the most common causes include:

  • Dry air. This is a common cause in the winter months due to indoor heat.
  • Picking your nose. If the tissue inside your nose is dry and inflamed, it may bleed if pricked by your finger.
  • Sinus infection or inflammation. This causes the tissue to be irritated and can lead to spontaneous bleeding, especially after blowing your nose.
  • Foreign objects. Placing any foreign object in your nose can damage a surface blood vessel and cause bleeding.
  • Medications that thin blood. Blood-thinning medications include aspirin and anticoagulants such as heparin or Coumadin.

Not so common causes of nosebleeds are: nosebleed

  • Excessive use of alcohol.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Hemophilia and other medical conditions, including leukemia and von Willebrand disease.
  • Polyps and tumors of the sinus or nose.
  • Pregnancy.

Can I treat my nosebleed at home?

Nosebleeds are seldom dangerous, and most can be easily managed at home. Keep calm and follow these steps:

  1. Sit or stand up straight and lean slightly forward. Spit out any blood in your mouth. Try not to swallow any.
  2. Pinch your nose for a minimum of 5 minutes and continue pinching for 15 minutes after the bleeding slows.

This treatment will resolve most nosebleeds.

When should I see a doctor about my nosebleed?

If the steps mentioned above fail to stop the bleeding, you should contact your health care provider. If excessive bleeding has caused you to feel lightheaded or dizzy, you should go to an emergency room or call 911.

If you are having frequent nosebleeds, it may indicate a more serious health problem. You should call an ENT doctor for a full evaluation of your condition.

How can an ENT doctor help me?

ENT doctors are highly trained medical specialists that provide comprehensive care for diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses. Your ENT doctor will diagnose the cause of your nosebleed and provide that appropriate treatment.

To answer the question posed by the headline of this article, when should I panic? Never.  Always remain calm. Nosebleeds are rarely serious, and even if there is a serious underlying cause, your ENT doctor will be able to treat you.

Dr. Paul Lenkowski and the Roanoke Valley ENT & Allergy team are dedicated to providing innovative, state-of-the-art sinus infection treatment to patients of all ages in the Roanoke area. With years of experience and expertise in cutting-edge sinus surgery techniques, Dr. Lenkowski is your choice for expert ENT care. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!