What Causes Nosebleeds in Adults and When Should You Be Worried ?

The nosebleed – or epistaxis, its scientific name – is a common phenomenon, since over 60% of the population has experienced a nosebleed at least once in their life, in particular because the nasal mucosa consists of numerous blood vessels and is very fragile. Even though they’re harmless in the vast majority of cases, a nosebleed in an adult may be related to an underlying condition that must therefore be detected. What causes nosebleeds in adults, and in which cases should you be worried and speak to a doctor about them?

The Signs that Should Alert You

In order to be able to determine whether a nosebleed in an adult is benign – that is, due to a shock, the dryness of the air, or scratching the nose – or alarming, because it’s likely a warning sign of a serious condition, you can rely on a few signs:

  • – The amount of blood: A benign nosebleed is generally weak, drop-by-drop, and limited to a flow expelled by a single nostril. If, during a nosebleed, you notice the loss of a larger amount of blood by one or both nostrils, you should consult a general practitioner or an ENT as soon as possible to determine the severity of this phenomenon.
  • – The persistence of the flow: If, even after taking measures to stop the nosebleed (treatment to stop the nosebleed), the bleeding persists, you should consider that a medical opinion is necessary and must be obtained as soon as possible.
  • – The frequency of the nosebleeds: If your nosebleeds are increasingly frequent and repeated, this may be a warning sign of a link with a serious condition that must be treated, and that therefore requires a medical consultation.
  • – The presence of one or more other physically detectable signs, such as physical weakness, facial pallor, excessive sweating, or tachycardia.

The Possible Causes of Frequent, Abundant, and/or Persistent Nosebleeds

In the event of persistent, frequent, or abundant nosebleeds accompanied by other worrying signs, the nosebleed requires an urgent medical consultation, since it may be a harbinger, a symptom, or an effect of various conditions:

  • – Arterial hypertension: This common condition, which primarily affects adults over 50 years of age, is characterized by abundant and abnormal blood pressure in the arteries. One of its symptoms may therefore be nosebleeds.
  • – Coagulation disorders: Some conditions that involve a deficiency in blood clotting factors, such as von Willebrand disease or hemophilia, can cause nosebleeds.
  • – Infections: Some types of inflammation that affect the nose and the sinuses, such as rhinitis and sinusitis, cause nosebleeds that must stop as soon as the infection is cured; otherwise, the patient must return to take a medical exam.
  • – Tumours: Benign or malignant tumours, such as angiomas, nasal polyps, or (in rare cases) sinus cancer, are prone to nosebleeds.

What to Do in the Event of a Nosebleed

While nosebleeds in adults are common, you should consult a doctor or an ENT as soon as possible to determine if there’s an underlying condition. While waiting for a consultation, and as a precaution, you can anticipate the risk of a nosebleed by always having an effective treatment with you to stop the nosebleed quickly and easily. We recommend the Nozohaem treatment, which comes in gel form and promotes the natural clotting of the blood thanks to a slight pressure exerted on the blood vessels of the nasal mucosa.