Epistaxis, more commonly known as a nosebleed, is a symptom of a wide variety of mild to serious diseases, disorders and conditions. Epistaxis can result from infection, inflammation, trauma, foreign body, malignancy, and other diseases and abnormal processes.
There are two types of epistaxis. An anterior epistaxis is the most common and most easily treatable. A posterior epistaxis is less common and more serious, generally requiring emergency treatment.
Epistaxis can occur in any age group or population. Epistaxis can be the result of nose picking or of a mild condition, such as a mild allergy or nasal congestion. Epistaxis can also be due to a moderate condition, disorder or disease, such as chronic sinusitis. Epistaxis can also occur due to some diseases, disorders and conditions that can be serious, even life-threatening. These include hypertension hemophilia and leukemia.
Depending on the cause, epistaxis can be short-term and disappear quickly, such as when epistaxis occurs due to excessively dry air then resolves when the air is humidified. Epistaxis can also occur in sudden episodes, such as epistaxis that happens with hypertensive crisis. Epistaxis can be the result of a wide variety of other conditions, including trauma to the nose or skull, allergies and sinus tumors. For more details about causes, see causes of epistaxis.
Epistaxis often occurs in conjunction with other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Other common symptoms include fever, headache, deformity of the nose, weakness, dizziness and sore throat.
Complications of epistaxis include nausea and vomiting due to the swallowing of blood. More serious complications can include anemia, hypovolemic shock, airway obstruction and very rarely, death. The underlying disorder, disease or condition can also cause complications.
Diagnosing epistaxis and its root cause begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. This includes looking up the nose with a special lighted instrument called a rhinoscope. Taking a blood pressure reading and a series of blood pressure readings can reveal if hypertension is present, possibly causing or contributing to epistaxis.
Making a diagnosis also includes performing a variety of other tests to help to diagnose potential underlying diseases, conditions or disorders, such as allergic rhinitis, skull fracture, or cocaine use. Depending on the suspected cause, tests can include , drug testing, blood tests, allergy skin testing, and imaging tests, such as X-ray, CT scan, nuclear scans, and MRI.
A diagnosis of epistaxis and its cause can easily be delayed or missed because epistaxis may be mild or intermittent and for other reasons. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of epistaxis.
Immediate first aid and treatment of epistaxis includes pinching the nose shut or using a nose clip to hold it closed until the bleeding stops. Applying ice may be done as well. Nasal packing and cautery using medications may also be needed in some cases.
Treatment of epistaxis also involves diagnosing and treating the underlying disease, disorder or condition that is causing it. Some conditions can be easily and successfully treated and cured, while others may require more intensive treatment and may not have an optimal prognosis. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of epistaxis. ...more »
Nosebleeds: The discharge of blood from the nose.
More detailed information about the symptoms,
causes, and treatments of Nosebleeds is available below.
Immediate treatment of epistaxis includes pinching the nose shut or using a nose clip to hold it closed until the bleeding stops. Applying ice may be done as well. This often works well to treat a mild anterior epistaxis. For more serious cases of epistaxis, including posterior epistaxis, nasal packing and cautery using topical medications may also be needed.
...more treatments »
Diagnosing epistaxis and its cause may be delayed or missed because in some cases, epistaxis may not be severe enough for a person to seek medical care. If epistaxis is caused by cocaine use, a person may not seek medical treatment and diagnosis out of shame or for fear of being reported to authorities. Epistaxis is a symptom of many different conditions, so a thorough ...more misdiagnosis »
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Definitions of Nosebleeds:
Bleeding from the nose.
- (Source - Diseases Database)
Bleeding from the nose
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)
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