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Treatment for epistaxis (recurrent nosebleeds)

We offer fast access to treatment for recurrent nosebleeds, including septum cauterisation.

What is a nosebleed?

A nosebleed (also known as epistaxis) is bleeding from the nose due to burst blood vessels at the front or back of the nostrils. Your nose is full of tiny, delicate blood vessels that can be easily damaged and as a result bleed. If you’ve suffered a head injury or have had recent surgery on your nose, or your arteries start to harden (atherosclerosis) bleeding can come from deeper in the nose.

I have a question about treatment for recurrent nosebleeds

What are the symptoms of recurrent nosebleeds?

Nosebleeds can come on suddenly and for some they can be frightening. During a nosebleed, blood flows from one or both nostrils. It can be heavy or light and last from a few seconds to 15 minutes or more.  If the bleeding is severe and continues after applying pressure for 15 minutes then you need to be seen by a doctor immediately.

How is epistaxis diagnosed?

An endoscopy can locate a specific area of your nose that is causing recurrent nosebleeds, these highlighted blood vessel(s) can then be cauterised or sealed.

Who is likely to get epistaxis?

If you pick your nose, blow your nose very hard, or you experience changes in temperature or humidity, it can cause the inside of your nose to become dry and cracked. The people most likely to suffer from nosebleeds are elderly people, pregnant women, children between the ages of two and 10, people with blood clotting disorders like haemophilia and people who take blood thinning medication such as aspirin or anticoagulants such as warfarin. High Blood pressure and drinking alcohol are also known to increase the risk of nosebleeds.

What happens during treatment for recurring nosebleeds?

Depending on the cause of your recurrent nosebleeds, your Consultant will use different techniques during nose bleeding treatment. The main treatment for frequent nosebleeds is cauterising (sealing by chemical or heat application) the area that bleeds or in extreme cases or ligation (tying off) of the blood vessels that cause the bleed.

This can usually be carried out under a local anaesthetic which numbs the area, minimising any pain you might experience with the procedure.

Why would I have nasal septum cauterisation?

If you suffer from a nosebleed that recurs four times or more in a week, you may require an investigation into the cause of your regular epistaxis. Nasal cautery could be recommended as a preventative procedure to stop your nose bleeding.

What happens before nasal septum cauterisation?

Before the procedure, a local anaesthetic will be sprayed into your nose to numb it. Your Consultant will explain any preparations you might need to take.

You should remove any jewellery from your nose before arriving for your procedure.

What happens during nasal septum cauterisation?

During nasal septum cauterisation, the blood vessel is sealed by cauterising (burning) it. This minor procedure is usually done using a stick of a chemical called silver nitrate which is held against the bleeding point for up to 10 seconds.

What should I expect after nasal cautery?

After nasal cautery, your Consultant will ease any post-procedure bleeding by packing your nostrils with pads. You may also be recommended medication to relieve any pain you might experience.

In the 24 hours after treatment, you should avoid the following: blowing or picking your nose, lying flat, drinking alcohol or hot drinks, heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, removing any crusts that form inside your nose. You should also avoid people with coughs or colds and sneezing with your mouth closed as this results in an increase of pressure inside your nose.

Your consultant will advise you on how to help prevent further bleeding.

Our ENT Consultants

Mr Balfour

Alistair Balfour

Consultant ENT Surgeon

Mr Balfour's specialties include thyroid surgery, head and neck surgery and rhinology.

Mr Fu

Bertram Fu

ENT Consultant

Mr Fu is a qualified Rhinologist with a special interest in nasal and sinus conditions. His specialities include otolaryngology and rhinology.

Mr Sharp

Henry Sharp

Consultant ENT Surgeon

Mr Sharp's specialties include rhinology and non-cosmetic nasal plastic surgery.

Mr Vikram Dhar

Vikram Dhar

Consultant ENT Surgeon

Mr Dhar is a specialist ENT Consultant at Benenden Hospital

Contact us about treatment for recurrent nosebleeds

It's easy to find out more about treatment by giving us a call or completing our enquiry form.