Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Frequent Nosebleeds

The delicate skin inside the nose is supplied by many small blood vessels, which can bleed when there’s even a mild injury.

Certain conditions may raise your risk of getting a nosebleed, including:

  • Dry air, especially during winter
  • Colds and allergies
  • Acute sinusitis
  • Foreign object in the nose
  • Medications, including:
    • Blood thinners
    • Anti-inflammatories
    • Antihistamines
    • Decongestants
    • Oxygen supplementation
  • Illegal drugs that are inhaled
  • Picking the nose or blowing vigorously

Frequent nosebleeds may be caused by:

  • Nasal deformity
  • Nasal polyps or tumors
  • A blood-clotting disorder
  • Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome, an inherited disease characterized by abnormal nasal blood vessels
  • Leukemia

Diagnosing frequent nosebleeds

Your physician will begin by taking a full history of your nosebleed occurrences, medical conditions and what medications you are taking. Diagnostic tests may also include:

  • Nasal endoscopy: An endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end) is inserted through your nostrils and progressed through your nasal passages and sinuses to determine if you have polyps or tumors.
  • Blood tests: A sample of your blood may be taken for laboratory tests.
  • Allergy testing: If you have other signs of chronic rhinitis or sinusitis, you may be referred to an allergist for further testing.