Nosebleeds. Are they messy and inconvenient? Absolutely. Do they sound the alarm bells for people who experience them, or for parents of children who develop them? Usually not. Should they? In most cases, no. However, though nosebleeds are typically not causes for concern, some symptoms may develop that warrant a call to the doctor. Moreover, when nosebleeds occur frequently, it could be a sign of a bigger issue. Below you will learn about when a nosebleed is not just a nosebleed and when it should prompt you to call the doctor.
When Nosebleeds Become Cause for Concern
Most children and adults have experienced at least one nosebleed in their lifetimes. If you have, then you know that a few minutes of self-care should be enough to abate the bleeding and let you resume your daily activities with little break in stride. However, there are some instances when nosebleeds prove to be a little more troublesome. When these events occur, how do you know when to call the doctor?
When To Call the Doctor for Nosebleeds in Adults
You may be used to frequent nosebleeds, especially during certain times of year. However, just because they’re frequent visitors does not mean you should ignore them completely. Below are a few symptoms for which you should look:
- A nosebleed that persists for more than 20 minutes despite your best attempts to suppress it
- A nosebleed that causes you to lose more than a cup of blood, even if it lasts for less than 20 minutes
- A nosebleed that is accompanied by bleeding from other areas of the body, such as from the rectum or ear
- A nosebleed that is the result of a serious blow to the head
- A nosebleed that results in gagging, breathing troubles or vomiting due to blood dripping down your throat
These symptoms may indicate a more serious health issue. Some conditions that cause nosebleeds include high blood pressure, blood clotting disorders and infections of the arteries, among others.
When To Call the Doctor for Nosebleeds in Children
If you’re like most parents, you may worry when your child experiences a nosebleed — not so much because of the nosebleed itself but rather, because of your little one’s comfort during an episode. However, the cause for your concern may shift — and should — if the following occurs:
- A nosebleed that persists for 20 or more minutes despite you putting direct pressure on it
- A nosebleed that arises as the result of a blow to your child’s face
- A nosebleed that occurs as the result of an object stuck in your child’s nose
- A nosebleed that is accompanied by headache, dizziness, vomiting, fatigue or breathing problems
If a nosebleed is accompanied by other symptoms, it could be an indicator that your child has lost too much blood.
If you or your child experience frequent nosebleeds, do not just chalk it up to environmental factors or genetics. Frequent nosebleeds may indicate that there is a problem within the nose, such as a nasal polyp or some type of growth.
More often than not, a nosebleed is just that — a nosebleed. However, if you or your child experience worrisome symptoms, contact your doctor if nothing more than to err on the side of caution.