My husband has been having severe nosebleeds for over 20 year now. There are two specific areas that a nosebleed can originate from and it is important to determine, as soon as you can, which area is involved when you get that nasty nosebleed.
The first is an anterior nosebleed. 90% of all nosebleeds fall into this category. The bleeding originates from the blood vessels on the nasal septum just inside the nose. This is the area that can easily be seen by a doctor when he looks into your nose with an instrument. An anterior nosebleed is usually fairly easy to control and only in a rare case would it mean a trip to the hospital. If a person has had their nose cauterized numerous times, then the nosebleed might be more difficult to stop using the normal methods.
The other 10% are classified as posterior nosebleeds and they originate from an artery in the posterior region of the nose. Cauterization is not an option in these cases, because the doctor cannot see this area with any instrument. They do occur more often in the elderly, but that is not always the case. This type of nosebleed can be very difficult to control in the home and quite often it is necessary to end up calling an ambulance or making a trip to the hospital. A person who experiences these posterior bleeds, should definitely be following up with an ear, nose and throat specialist to determine the cause and find an appropriate treatment plan.
Because my husband suffers from anterior nosebleeds, those are the type that we have experience in dealing with. However, during the last month, I have unfortunately had three posterior ones. The last one occured while I was in a washroom at an out of town restaurant. The blood was flowing so heavily that it was coming out of both my nostrils as well as going down my throat and choking me. This was something that was so different from my husbands anterior nosebleeds, that it was quite scary, to say the least.
A few staff members came to my aid with a firstaid kit, but because after a reasonable amount of time, we couldn’t get it to stop, they called an ambulance. It took the attendants about l/2 hr. but it eventually stopped. They wanted to take me to the hospital to get my nose packed, but because we were out of town, I declined.
Let me assure you that there is a massive difference between the two types of nosebleeds and a posterior nosebleed has to be taken seriously.
One out of every seven people will, at some time or other, have an anterior nosebleed. They occur most often during the winter months, especially in areas where the climate is dry and cold. They happen most often in children from 2-10 years of age and in adults between 50 - 80 years. Also, for some unknown reason, they occur more often in the morning.
I will be covering the causes of nosebleeds and how to handle them in another article.
In the meantime, keep your home and office environment as moist as is practical, especially in the dry, cold winter months. When you do have to blow your nose, do it very gently. It is also a good idea to keep the lining of your nostrils lubricated with vaseline, especially before you go to bed.