When To Call The Doctor Or Go To A Hospital Emergency Room
Care and Prevention
Most nosebleeds are mere nuisances; but some are quite frightening, and a few are even life threatening. Physicians classify nosebleeds into two different types.
Obviously, if the patient is lying down, even the anterior nosebleeds seem to flow in both directions, especially if the patient is coughing or blowing his nose.
Nevertheless, it is important to try to make the distinction since posterior nosebleeds are often more severe and almost always require the physician's care. Posterior nosebleeds are more likely to occur in older people, persons with high blood pressure, and in cases of injury to the nose or face.
Nosebleeds in children are almost always of the anterior type. Anterior nosebleeds are common in dry climates or during the winter months when the dry air parches the nasal membranes so that they crust, crack, and bleed. This can be prevented if you will place a bit of lubricating cream or ointment about the size of a pea on the end of your fingertip and then rub it up inside the nose, especially on the middle portion (the septum).
Many physicians suggest any of the following lubricating creams or ointments. They can all be purchased without a prescription: Borofax ointment,® A and D Ointment,® Mentholatum,® Vicks Vaporub,® and Vaseline.® Up to three applications a day may be needed, but usually every night at bedtime is enough.
If the nosebleeds persist, you should see your doctor, who may recommend cautery to the blood vessel that is causing the trouble.
To Stop An Anterior Nosebleed
If you or your child has an anterior nosebleed, you may be able to care for it yourself using the following steps:
To Prevent Re-bleeding After Bleeding Has Stopped
If Re-bleeding Occurs
WHAT IS OTOLARYNGOLOGY-HEAD AND NECK SURGERY?
Otolaryngology-head and neck surgery is a specialty concerned with medical treatment and surgery of the ear, nose, throat and related structures of the head and neck. The specialty encompasses cosmetic facial reconstruction, surgery of benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck, management of patients with loss of hearing and balance, endoscopic examination of air and food passages and treatment of allergic, sinus, laryngeal, thyroid and esophageal disorders.
To qualify for the American Board of Otolaryngology certification examination, a physician must complete five or more years of post-M.D. (or D.O.) specialty training.
© 1984. This leaflet is published as a public service. The material may be freely used so long as attribution is given to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Inc., Alexandria, VA.
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