Nosebleeds (Epistaxis) can be caused by many factors. Trauma, nasal sprays, chemical irritants, medicinal side effects, aging, post operative complications from nasal or sinus surgery, or bleeding disorders. The frequency and severity of nosebleeds can also vary based on the source of bleeding within the nose and whether an artery , vein, or small capillary blood vessels are involved. Most mild or intermittent cases of nasal bleeding is controlled with simple lubrication or moisturizing sprays, vaseline ointments, or simple pressure against the nostrils for 5-10 minutes with the head held slightly forward. Sometimes it is necessary to place various types of nasal packing in one or both nostrils to control more persistent epistaxis. Fortunately we now have dissolvable  sponges or sheets of absorbent material that do not require removal  when placed. Saline sprays or irrigations used by the patient, 24 -72 hrs after placement, are all that's required to dissolve these materials.

Severe bilateral or arterial nosebleeds, however, often require specialized inflatable balloon packing. This type of nasal packing, although uncomfortable, can be placed very rapidly and is usually successful in complete control of these more serious episodes of epistaxis. Once placed they are usually left in place for 48-72 hrs and then gradually deflated and removed in the ENT doctor's office. Should bleeding persist or reoccur, then endoscopic nasal surgery with cauterization or ligation of the bleeding blood vessel is performed under general anesthesia, usually in an outpatient setting.

Certain herbal, naturopathic, prescription, or over the counter medications can increase the frequency of nosebleeds. Aspirin, Goody Powders, garlic, Feverfew, Fish Oils, White Willow Bark, Plavix, Warfarin or Coumadin, and large doses of vitamin E are a few examples of substances that should be avoided by patients with history of recurrent or severe nosebleeds. These substances should be stopped at least 10 days prior to any surgical procedures, to include dental extractions, to prevent intra-operative or post-operative bleeding issues.

Please call our office for an appointment with Dr. Sciacca if you are having problems with recurrent nosebleeds for a high definition videonasal endoscopic exam

For more information about nosebleeds

4501 Southlake Pkwy
Suite #200
Hoover, AL 35244