Common Causes Of Nose Bleeds

Etiology

  • Idiopathic
  • Trauma: Nose picking, blunt force, foreign body inserted into nasal cavity
  • Mucosal injury from cocaine use, other toxin
  • Allergic inflammation, polyps, other processes that increase mucosal vascularity/fragility
  • Dry mucous membranes (predispose to bleeding)
  • Excessive nose blowing
  • Contribution from severe hypertension

Symptoms

  • Vary w/cause and site
  • Anterior (80%) nasal source causes blood to drip from nares, though can also drip down back of throat
  • Posterior (20%) source causes blood to drip down back of throat, though often also thru nares
  • Coughing, w/blood
  • Nasal stuffiness/congestion

Physical Exam Findings

  • If anterior source, site (and cause) of bleeding might be visible
  • Posterior bleeding often manifests as blood dripping down posterior pharynx