Most nosebleeds are harmless and can be explained away with simple and direct causes, including nose picking, dryness, medications, and foreign objects lodged in the nose. However, it could also be indicative of one of the following issues:
Medications like blood thinners and even ibuprofen increase the risk of nosebleeds, but the same applies to illegal drugs like cocaine and amphetamine.
Not only do they have a significant impact on your cardiovascular system, but they are also taken intranasally, which irritates the nasal passages.
The liver is an essential organ that helps to purify the blood and produce clotting proteins. When it becomes damaged, it loses its ability to operate at full capacity and this could lead to excessive nosebleeds.
These issues usually occur when the liver has been severely damaged and may present with other symptoms, including weakness, jaundice, and decreased appetite.
Sinusitis is a relatively common condition caused by the inflammation of the sinuses, which in turn is triggered by bacteria, fungi, allergies, autoimmune responses, and more.
Millions of Americans are diagnosed with this condition every year, although you will likely experience many other symptoms before nosebleeds, including a sore throat, runny nose, headaches, and even a fever.
Leukemia and Other Cancers
In the early stages of leukemia, patients may present with excessive bleeding, including nosebleeds. However, that doesn’t mean you need to jump to conclusions and assume the worst.
Leukemia also presents with a catalog of other symptoms, including fever, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and common infections. The nosebleeds are also frequent, so a single incident is usually nothing to worry about.
The same applies to other cancers, which can also cause nosebleeds. However, there are many more common symptoms and these usually present before or alongside frequent nosebleeds.
Should I Worry?
Nosebleeds can be pretty scary. After all, we’re talking about sporadic and seemingly unexplained bleeding from the face—it’s enough to make anyone’s heart beat faster!
But the vast majority of nosebleeds are harmless and are absolutely nothing to worry about. It can be worrying if you’ve never had a nosebleed before and there are seemingly no obvious causes, but unless the bleed continues for more than 15 minutes (some say 20 or even 30 minutes, so a bleed that continues for 16 minutes isn’t necessarily cause for concern) or repeats multiple times, you likely won’t have an issue.
Consult with a medical professional if an occasional problem becomes a persistent one or you want to put your mind at ease. Five minutes in the doctor’s chair is preferable to days or weeks of worrying.