Most nosebleeds do not have an easily identifiable cause. However, trauma to the nose is a
very common cause of nosebleeds. Nosebleeds can be caused by trauma to the outside of the nose from a blow to the face, or trauma to the inside of the nose from nose picking.
Other conditions that predispose a person to nosebleeds include:
- exposure to warm, dry air for prolonged periods of time,
- nasal and sinus infections,
- allergic rhinitis,
- nasal foreign body (object stuck in the nose),
- vigorous nose blowing,
- nasal surgery,
- deviated or perforated nasal septum, and
- cocaine use.
Less commonly, an underlying disease process or taking certain medications may cause a nosebleed or make it more difficult to control.
- Inability of the blood to clot is most often due to blood-thinning
medications such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix),
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or
- Topical nasal medications, such as corticosteroids and antihistamines, may
sometimes lead to nosebleeds.
- Liver disease, chronic alcohol abuse, kidney disease, platelet disorders,
and inherited blood clotting disorders can also interfere with blood clotting
and predispose to nosebleeds.
- Vascular malformations in the nose and nasal tumors are rare causes of
- High blood pressure may contribute to bleeding, but is rarely the sole
reason for a nosebleed. It is often the anxiety associated with the nosebleed
that leads to the elevation in blood pressure.
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