Epistaxis is the medical term to describe blood loss from the nose. Dr. Luca Malvezzi, specialist in otorhinolaryngology and facial cervical surgery in Humanitas, spoke about it in an interview with the broadcast Piazza inBlu on Radio inBlu.


The causes of nosebleed

“The causes can also be many in relation to age; in pre-school age and before puberty for example, capillary fragility is very frequent, so often boys and girls suffer from nasal bleeding. In addition to this, there are co-factors, such as prolonged exposure to heat.

In later life, there may be other causes: today, drugs derived from acetyl-salicyl (or other anti-aggregants) are commonly taken, which can act in favor of the nosebleed because they thin the blood and can promote bleeding when the nasal mucosa is cracked or has a small varicose vein.

It is recommended not to underestimate the problem, especially if it is repetitive: in these cases it is good to go in depth with a careful examination, which includes endoscopy of the upper digestive airways and therefore of the nose, to verify the presence of nasal neoformations of the facial massif that can be responsible for the problem”, explains the specialist.


What to do in the event of a nosebleed?

“The epistaxis itself is not worrying and although frightening it does not represent a risk factor. Exceptions are nasal neoformations and some hereditary diseases, such as hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.

In case of bleeding, never put your head back. If you bleed it is better to blow the nose so as to facilitate the release of the clot. Once the clot has been expelled, it is good to keep the head reclined forward, compressing the nostrils vigorously between the thumb and forefinger to favor hemostasis, or the interruption of bleeding.

If the bleeding does not stop, it is advisable to go to the emergency room,” emphasizes Dr. Malvezzi.


Treatment and prevention

“It is good to avoid do-it-yourself nasal plugging with cotton and gauze. If you think you should, your eye care professional will do so. The swab blocks bleeding immediately, but causes injury and irritation of the mucous membrane. It is therefore better to medicate the nose, if any vessels are found to bleed, try to block them gently, while if there is a cracked area of the nasal mucosa it is good to use hospital products that help the reconstruction of the mucosa itself. There are also a number of over-the-counter products available, such as those based on hyaluronic acid, a component that can help tissue regeneration and healing of the mucous membranes and scar.

In order to protect our nasal mucosa, it is advisable – especially during this season when we are exposed to the cold, increase heat or suffer from allergies – to use specific creams that prevent the mucosa from cracking. The recommendation is further emphasized if they take antiplatelet drugs,” concluded Dr. Malvezzi.