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Epistaxis: Introduction

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 »

Epistaxis: Misdiagnosis

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 medical evaluation is ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Epistaxis:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Epistaxis. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Epistaxis: Causes | Symptom Checker »

Causes of Types of Epistaxis:

Review causes of types of Epistaxis in more specific categories:

Review causes of more specific types of Epistaxis:

Epistaxis: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Epistaxis, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Epistaxis Treatments

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 ...Epistaxis Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Epistaxis may include:

  • Hospital admission
  • Maintain airway, breathing and circulation
  • Endotracheal intubation in severe cases
  • Intravenous access
  • Crystalloid infusion
  • Vaseline gauze packing
  • more treatments...»

Review further information on Epistaxis Treatments.

Stories from Users for Epistaxis

Real-life user stories relating to Epistaxis:

Epistaxis: Animations

Medications or substances causing Epistaxis:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Epistaxis as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Drug interactions causing Epistaxis:

When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Epistaxis as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Epistaxis: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Epistaxis may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Epistaxis

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Epistaxis:

Epistaxis: Deaths

Read more about causes and Epistaxis deaths.

Epistaxis: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Causes of Epistaxis listed in Disease Database:

Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible causes of Epistaxis as a symptom include:

Definitions of Epistaxis:

Bleeding from the nose.
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Bleeding from the nose
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Organs affected by Epistaxis:

The list of organs typically affected by Epistaxis may include, but is not limited to:

Detailed list of causes of Epistaxis

The list below shows some of the causes of Epistaxis mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Epistaxis?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Epistaxis. Of the 113 causes of Epistaxis that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 7 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 6 causes are "common" diseases
  • 1 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 9 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 99 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Epistaxis:

The following list of conditions have 'Epistaxis' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Epistaxis or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Epistaxis:

The following list of medical conditions have Epistaxis or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.



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Causes of Epistaxis Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Epistaxis based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?
  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Doctors and specialists: Who should I consult about Epistaxis?

    Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Epistaxis, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.

    Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :

    What are the alternative names for Epistaxis:

    Bleeding nose, Nosebleed
    - (Source - Diseases Database)

    Classifications of Epistaxis:

    Medical Conditions associated with Epistaxis:

    Nosebleeds (294 causes), Nose symptoms (2080 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Face symptoms (8109 causes), Respiratory tract symptoms (5166 causes), Bleeding symptoms (1783 causes), Throat symptoms (3410 causes), Mouth symptoms (6864 causes), Breathing symptoms (3381 causes), Breath symptoms (3023 causes)

    Symptoms related to Epistaxis:

    Nosebleeds (294 causes), Runny nose (754 causes), Nasal discharge, Cold-like symptoms (712 causes), Nasal septum, Dry nasal mucosa, Hot environment, Juvenile angiofibroma

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Nosebleeds:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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