How to manage chronic nosebleeds while on eaiting list for ENT consult?
September 26, 2010 4:12 PM   Subscribe

Help me find relief from nosebleed problem while on waiting list for specialist appointment.

I started getting near-daily nosebleeds about a month ago. They don't last long, but they are irritating. They have mostly been at night, but there have been a few daytime ones at work that have been extremely embarrassing.

I remarked on them to my dentist, who suggested daily saline spray in the nose and a humidifier in the bedroom for two weeks before seeing the doctor. I did this, then saw the doctor. He did little more than look up my nose with a flashlight (without even touching it) before concluding that he didn't see anything obvious and he was going to refer me to a specialist.

The problem is, there is a bit of a waiting list and it could be anywhere from 1-3 months before I get in to see one. I asked him what he expected me to do in the meantime, and he pretty much shrugged and said wait to see the ENT doctor. is getting ridiculous already. What can I do while I wait for the specialist? I am willing to try vitamins, herbal remedies, dietary changes, homeopathic remedies, anything. Obviously, I will take the specialist appointment when it becomes allotted to me. But I am looking for something to alleviate the symptoms in the meantime. I dread having a nosebleed at work or in public. This has been weighing on my mind.

Other details:

- The doctor I saw already did some blood work but the results have not come back yet. He suggested I might be anemic. However, he has said I am every time he has ever drawn blood because I am a woman of menstruating age and all such women are anemic...

- I do not do drugs or anything like that. I do occasionally take antihistamines for food allergies and take a daily maintenance inhaler for asthma. Other than that, I am in good health. I know antihistamines can be drying, but I have been using the humidifier for a few weeks now...

- I am mostly vegetarian. I cook vegetarian at home, but I do eat meat 1-3 times a week if I am eating out. My diet is very healthy, if a little high in sugar at times (I like treats). I do take a multivitamin which includes a small amount if iron. Doctor has asked me to take a proper iron supplement as well and I have just began this. My weight is within a healthy range.
posted by JoannaC to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think your dentist is on the right track, keeping the inside of your nose moist and pliable. I've never had chronic nosebeeds, but when I do have one, after the bleeding stops, I anoint the nostil generously with Bag Balm. Use plenty, and rub it in thoroughly, as it will not want to adhere to the moist surfaces.
posted by Bruce H. at 4:28 PM on September 26, 2010

IANYD...but when this happens to me, I:
--don't use a saline nasal spray or a salt water nettie pot because the salt can be drying to the membranes in the nose which makes it bleed even easier. I do put a thin layer of petroleum jelly in my nose with a q tip to make it less dry.
--nose bleeds can be a sign of high blood pressure. How's your blood pressure?
--eat food high in vitamin K as a common symptom of vitamin k deficiency is nose bleeds.
--I haven't heard of nose bleeds as being a common symptom of iron deficiency
posted by MsKim at 4:30 PM on September 26, 2010

Be mindful of rubbing the outside of your nose if it itches, picking or blowing your nose as all can disturb the delicate scab that is trying to form over the offending area. Petroleum jelly has also helped me with this.
posted by cecic at 4:58 PM on September 26, 2010

I get daily nosebleeds in winter, because the inside of my nose dries out and cracks. Have done ever since I was a child. Just carry tissues. It's no big deal if it happens at work or in public.

A quick way to stop or slow it is to get very cold water on a washcloth and press it against your top lip. And/or fill your mouth with ice-cold water. The cold makes the blood vessels contract.

Otherwise it helps avoid them if I don't touch or rub my nose, as cecic says, and try to avoid blowing it unless absolutely necessary.
posted by lollusc at 5:35 PM on September 26, 2010

I recently spoke to my ENT about this and in addition to the above (though he recommends Bacitracin instead of Vaseline) he suggested Ponaris Oil, which I hadn't heard of before and have since come to love. It isn't cheap (about $12.00/oz, I think) and you may only be able to find it online, but you only need a few drops each dose. Note: Everything will taste and smell like eucalyptus and pine for a while after you use it.
posted by camyram at 6:24 PM on September 26, 2010

My son has this problem and his is caused by an enlarged blood vessel that gets irritated and has difficulty healing. It gets much worse during allergy season and the winter when it's dry. The specialist will probably suggest what everyone has mentioned above - a humidifier and a spray of Saline mist in each nostril followed by a dab of Neosporin every morning and night.

If this doesn't clear it up, the ENT might suggest having the blood vessel cauterized. which solved our problem for about 2 years. You might be able to have it done in the office but it might not be a permanent solution because the vessel might grow back. Good luck getting it resolved...I know it's annoying.
posted by victoriab at 7:35 PM on September 26, 2010

Yeah, I had mine cauterized... the miserable part is you're not allowed to blow your nose for 2 weeks and be careful to sneeze gently. They do it with a chemical on a q-tip. It doesn't hurt much at all. Can you see another regular doctor for a 2nd opinion before you can get in to see the ENT?
posted by IndigoRain at 7:50 PM on September 26, 2010

I got silver nitrate on a matchstick put on mine by the doctor and haven't had a blood nose since. Took two seconds, stung a little, but bob's the uncle. My GP did that in a normal appointment.
posted by jonathanstrange at 12:14 AM on September 27, 2010

This happens with my son, particularly when the air is dry. Nthing vaseline or even neosporin applied via q-tip 1-2 times a day, especially before bed.
posted by MeiraV at 4:43 AM on September 27, 2010

Some nosebleeds start in the nose, and some in the sinuses. For bleeding from the nose, you may be able to use a cotton swab to apply something greasy like Neosporin or even just Vaseline. That will help if dryness is a cause.

I still haven't figured out how to prevent the ones caused by sinus inflammation -- other than taking antihistamines during allergy season.

Once you have a nosebleed, drinking water can help get it overwith sooner -- if you're not well hydrated, blood doesn't clot as easily.
posted by wryly at 11:12 AM on September 27, 2010

I used to get terrible nosebleeds, as did my dad (blame allergies and dry air). Vaseline worked a treat. Also, aside from the Vaseline-smeared swab, do not put ANYTHING in your nose - not fingers, not a Kleenex, nothing - and don't rub it hard when you wipe it.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:16 AM on September 28, 2010

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