If there is one thing that keeps people out of a medical profession, it’s blood. It’s all fine and good when it’s on the inside of a person, but when blood comes out to where people can see it, they duck and cover. Today’s article will cover a common means by which blood–lots of it–makes its way from the inside to the outside: nosebleeds.
Doctors call nosebleeds epistaxis. I’ve mentioned before that doctors like fancy names for things; it just sounds smarter to use a Latin or Greek word. It’s especially good at parties.
What Are Nosebleeds?
Nosebleeds are scary because they often involve a lot of blood. The good news is that they are almost never a real threat to a person’s life. Still, it’s hard not to panic when you or your child puts out enough blood that it makes a scene reminiscent of a horror movie. Despite all that blood, only about 10% of nosebleeds are brought to the doctor or emergency room. The rest of them just scare people and necessitate the use of lots of Oxy-Clean.
Are There Different Types of Nosebleeds?
The nose can bleed from two main sources, the front (or anterior) portion, and the back (or posterior) portion.
Anterior nosebleeds are by far the most common, and almost always get better without much medical intervention. Posterior bleeds, on the other hand, can be quite serious; but thankfully, they are relatively rare.
Anterior nosebleeds: Anterior nosebleeds usually originate from a bundle of blood vessels known as Kesselbach’s plexus. You can find Kesselbach’s plexus by inserting your finger into your nostril in a way that points vertically. I don’t recommend doing this in public, although I have seen many people checking Kesselbach’s plexus while stopped at a stoplight in their car.
Posterior nosebleeds:To point out where a posterior nosebleed occurs would take very long and thin fingers. I don’t recommend trying this, as extraction of the finger requires medical procedures requiring plungers, the jaws