Nosebleeds: harmless flow? Medical clarification is particularly important in old age
There are hardly any more unpleasant situations: when suddenly and unexpectedly a light red trickle flows from your nose. At some point everyone has nosebleeds. While this is often harmless in children, adults who suffer from it more often should have their symptoms clarified by an ear, nose and throat doctor, as the HNOnet NRW, an association of resident ENT doctors, points out. In addition to damage to blood vessels, high blood pressure, harmless malformations, nosebleeds can in rare cases also arise from a malignant ulcer. If bleeding lasts longer than a few minutes, it can be stopped quickly and sustainably using various methods.
The sudden flow from the nose has different causes in children and adults. "In children, a dry or irritated nasal mucosa in the front of the nose is mostly to blame for nosebleeds," explains Dr. Uso Walter, Duisburg ENT specialist and CEO of the HNOnet NRW: "This causes the mucous membrane to crack and the blood vessels to surface". Especially in the offspring, the vessels are easily damaged: by injuries and colds - but sometimes also by popping children's fingers. The blood flow usually dries up by itself after a few minutes. A cold washcloth on the neck contracts injured vessels and the bleeding can be stopped more quickly. Since it usually bleeds very far in the front of the nose, it also helps to keep the corresponding side of the nose closed. This causes the bleeding source to be depressed. The head should be held forward to avoid nausea due to blood in the stomach. If the blood flow does not dry up, an emergency care at the ENT doctor is advised. “Usually, tamponades inserted into the nose help. Burns or burns with electricity, cold or medication can also stop the bleeding, ”says Dr. Walter.
In adults, nosebleeds may also be due to vascular bleeding in the back of the nose. Concomitant diseases such as high blood pressure and draining or blood-thinning medication also play an important role here. With increasing age, the vessels also lose elasticity and are more sensitive to dry, cold air or when suffering from a cold. If the blood not only trickles but flows properly, those affected should introduce themselves to an ENT doctor. Tumors in the nose also cause bleeding. They rarely occur, but should be treated early for complete healing. "Above all, if regular nosebleeds occur with a one-sided obstruction of nasal breathing, this should be clarified by a doctor," clarifies Dr. Walter. (pm)