The Nose Knows

Ok people, I’m putting out a call for random medical advice:

I am lately (the past 8 weeks or so) suffering from chronic nosebleeds.

I’ve been to the doctor, and he’s said that I have some capillaries in my nose that are sitting right on the edge of the skin, and when they’re wont to break, break they will, and my nose will spew red.

His advice: be very gentle with my nose.

Unfortunately, in my world, activities such as “walking at a moderate pace”, “sitting at the computer” or “turning off the shower” don’t contain any sort of rough (or even gentle) noseplay – and still, it continues to bleed at random (and usually inconvenient) intervals.

Apparently there is another option open to me: cauterizing the offending capillaries – so I’m wondering if anyone out there in the blogosphere has had this done? To me, it sounds pretty painful to stick burning things into one of my mucous membranes. How do they do it? Will they use a local anisthetic to freeze my nose (another ouch in itself)? Will they use liquid nitrogen, or a sauldering iron, or a blowtorch?

If it’s not too bad of a procedure, I may get it done, because I’m getting sick of having to tote a pack of kleenex and a small pot of vaseline (good for stopping bleeding before the clotting takes full effect) everywhere I go. And I really don’t want to have to revert to wearing tampons in my nose as a pre-emptive strike in an effort to save my light coloured clothing.

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28 thoughts on “The Nose Knows

  1. im getting my nosed cauterized. it seems to hurt but i could be wrong. some people say it doesn’t . if any of u have gotten ur nose cauterized please tell me if it hurts or not! i’m dying to know!

  2. Hey there, I started having chronic nosebleeds out of the blue this past July, Everyday, sometimes three times a day. I went to the doctor and eventually had my nose cauterized. My problem apparently is that my septum is deviated which caused my nose to bleed.

  3. My son had this done today and is bleeding slightly, it seems to be blood mixed with clear. I don’t know. Did anyone else have this happen to them the day of surgery?? I thought no more blood!!

  4. Hi there. I had my nose cauterized last week, and it started bleeding again in about 8 days. Not as bad as before, but still bleeding.

    Cauterization isn’t a pleasant thing, but its a small price to pay for a few days of blood-free existence.I would get it done again.

    My advice is to get it cauterized, and put petroleum jelly in your nose each night. Just a little bit to keep your nose moist.

  5. Hi,

    Your blog has described exactly what I’m going through at the moment. Up until about 12 weeks ago I’d only ever had one nosebleed (over ten years ago), after a car crash, but in the past three months I’ve had more than I care to remember.

    Having spent the past three months trying to “take it easy” aka – having no real life to speak of! there’s been no improvement in the nose area. As such I’m going to see if I can get a cauterization done. I’ve had one done before – after the car crash, and I have to say, although the doctor warned me it miught hurt, I didn’t even feel it, then again I was in such a state of panic about the bleeding they could probably have done major surgery and I wouldn’t have noticed!

    One thing I have been doing over the last month is take a Vitamin K supplement. It doesn’t prevent the bleeds but it does help clot the blood so the bleeds don’t last so long.

    But like the ohters have said – cauterizing does seem to be the best solution.

    Good Luck,
    Sonia.

  6. Jen, The area you’re living in definitely isn’t too dry ;) I’d go with the cauterization. It’ll be over before you know it – kinda like getting a bikini wax.

  7. I went through that a lot as a kid, and a couple of times it was so bad I ended up in the hospital. The doc I had also told me that I’d have to have it cauterized, and the thought of intentionally burning something up my nose wasn’t the most appealing of ideas to me. So, since I told him that, he suggested that perhaps the area I was living in was too dry. So I got a humidifier and fell asleep to it every night, and after about a week they stopped all together.

  8. Yeah, I’d have the cauterization done. It’s quick and relatively painless and should put a stop to most of your bleeds.

  9. For anyone new, I just had one side of my nose cauterized a week ago. It only takes 10 minutes (maby) and is extremly simple (some cotton with a numming solution is put up first so you feel nothing).

    The only problem was afterwords, when you have no control over your nose. It runs (red and white) and you dont know it, and it can give a MILD pain that lasts for a day or 2. Overall, it has stopped it completly (except for 1 day). Overall, it is a very easy thing to go through and is well worth it to stop the nosebleeds.

  10. I had my nose cauterized yestarday and it isnt painful, but it does swell up and make you feel like uve got a head cold, if this fixs it though then it was well worth it

  11. i think you will all agree with me on this one…nosebleeds are a pain the arse(or even, the nose)……..
    im 23 and i have been getting nosebleeds all my life but over the last year they have gotten really bad. nowadays when i get one it takes about 10-15 mins to stop and sometimes longer and a day or 2 later my nostrel would become very irritated,like there is something inside it..that bastard clot,come ere! but when i take the clot out it is very big,it feels like im pulling a small worm out of my nose..when i take it out the nostrel breathes Super clear but for every breath…i feel sharp stinging….about 2 hours later the process begins again!…im getting my nose cauterized on the morrow so i will come back with my results.
    LOL i sound like a doctor!

  12. Hi..
    I’m 41 and never had a problem with nosebleeds until the last 6 months or so. I also moved to CA recently which is a lot drier than where I lived before. In the last 3 months the nosebleeds got much much worse in terms of the amount of blood, a very scary thing..not just a few drops but like someone turned on a faucet and they happened randomly out of the blue (like just standing up after sitting for awhile). I ended up actually going to the emergency room because i thought they could cauterize it..and they refused! They said if its not actively bleeding they wont do it. Anyway went to an ENT (ear nose throat) doctor a week later after ANOTHER nosebleed and he said he wouldnt cauterize it either and that he wanted me to lightly put neosporin on it every night to let it heal. Did this for a month, morning and night, no bleeds and then last week out of the blue another one again. and then another. Went back to the same doc and he agreed to cauterize it (yesterday). The process is super simple, they stick cotton soaked in something up your nose to numb you and then they used a chemical cauterization..he warned me my nose might start bleeding while he did it and handed me a LARGE kidney dish (which freaked me out). Anyway, it didnt bleed at all and I didnt feel a thing, no stinging nothing. Left with cotton stuffed up my nose and have felt no pain at all. Today though I put some neosporin on a cue tip this morning and lightly dabbed at the area and it was covered in bright red blood. I’m concerned that its not healing but will give it a day or so. Anyway it wasnt painful at all so dont worry about it.

  13. I’m 44years old and have suffered from nose bleeds off and on since late teens. My G.P. never really took it serious enough I guess because I could always stop the bleed myself within ten minutes or so. However, my point was the fear of the nose bleeding – anytime, any place, anywhere. I went to A and E when I had a bleed WITH ALL MY BLOOD STAINED TISSUES ! was referred to the surgical ward.Explained all to the very understanding Consultant.

    On this occassion it was the RHS, however, previously, 4 1/2 months earlier it was LHS. I had both sides cauterised on that Thursday – the following Tuesday I rang through to the ward, nose bleed again ! Consultant asked me to go the ward again. He cauterised the RHS for the 2nd time. That was just over a week ago. I sincerely hope no more bleeds EVER. As I’m very afraid of hospitals etc.(my family and friend will agree to this) I assure you the entire procedure is – though uncomfortable, painless. A piece of cotton wool is placed in a solution, packed up into your nose – ten minutes later when froze, the Consultant can ‘look up into’ your nose at the same time putting up a little thin ‘splint’ which when it touches the solution left by the ‘freeze’ it reacts and burns (seals) the area/s which blood leaked from.

    My 15year daughter was with me and the consultant talked her through what he was doing every step of the way, showing her excatly the size of the areas in each of my nostrils that needed to be ‘burnt’

    Honestly, it didn’t hurt, it was uncomfortable – and I am the weakest person out there when it comes to medical care.

    if you are considering having such done and would like to speak with me I will do my best to assure you of the procedure, because I would dearly loved to have had someone explain to me ‘what I was going for’

  14. (CONTINUED) Was given a cream POLYFLAX to put into each nostril 3times a day for 2/3 weeks. On a few occasions when I did this with (cotton buds) bright red blood, ONLY A STREAK was on the bud from the LHS.Yip, that was enought to freak me. However I’m trying to be positive and hope it will forever END. Jennifer

  15. Hi All –

    I, too, suddenly started getting nosebleeds for no apparent reason. I had never had one before, then out of the blue started getting one or two per day.

    I saw my GP seven days after they started (when it was clear that they were not going to stop), and she referred me to an ENT.

    The ENT took a look, told me she sees this kind of thing all the time, and that we could proabably put a stop to things by cauterizing it.

    She soaked a cotton ball in something, then put it up my nose to numb things up and constrict the blood vessels. Then she used a chemical agent to burn the offending spot on my septum. She followed it up with a good smear of ointment.

    All in all, it took around 20 minutes and was not painful, exactly. I would say it was a little uncomfortable, but not really painful. I think the 1.5 days or so after the procedure were more uncomfortable than the process itself. It burned a little, and reminded me of breathing through my nose when I have a cold and everything is raw and irritated.

    Some of the skin in my nostril where the numbing agent was applied sloughed off, which was a little weird.

    She instructed me to keep it well lubed with ointment until it heals. The ointment helps with the raw feeling, and overall, I am MUCH improved after four days. I still have more healing to do, but I have not had a bleed for four days, which has been GREAT.

    The worst part, I think, is not being able to blow my nose. Especially after I lube up with the ointment. Yuck. :)

  16. I have suffered chronic nose bleeds since I was 8 or 9 years old. About two years ago I had my nose cauterized. I found it quite painful for a few hours after the procedure. The nose bleeds stopped for 6 months. I have been having nosebleeds again for the past 10 months or so. Tomorrow I will be having my nose cauterized for the second time(differernt doctor) which I am hopeful will be more successful

  17. cont) and for all of you who are wondering what it feels like….

    *uncomfortable but not painful
    *felt more pain after rather than during
    *peculiar feeling

  18. Went to an ENT today and got my nose cauterized. Never really had bad nose bleeds, just somewhat frequent and annoying. The doctor took one look and said yep we can cauterize that. He put a cotton ball up my nose with local numbing solution for about 1 minute and then cauterized it. He told me that it was so it won’t hurt as bad. He cauterized it with silver nitrate And well it really hurt for me. Didn’t take long but once it was over, because the pain was so bad, it made my blood pressure drop and I was extremely dizzy and sick to my stomach, I almost passed out. After a bit I felt better, and the bleeding isn’t bad, but I’m home now and my nose still hurts a little. I hope it will be all worth it.

  19. hi, i have been having nose bleeds for 4-5years now. they are a pain in the bum. i am 17 and my family want me to have it cauterized. i went to my doctor and he sed that i can get it done or i could live with them.it is in th ehot weather when i get them most offten,and sometimes i dont get them atall in the winter. i am going to live with them coz i really dont like the thought of cauterization.

  20. Couple hours later and it feels a little bit better (with advil), no bleeding.

    Just a note, the ENT doctor I had wasn’t very thoughtful. He didn’t even ask about the frequency or anything of the bleeds. He asked when was the last time I had a bleed and looked at my nose and did it. I wish he would have explained it too me or let alone give me my options. He was very old school. He didn’t even say what I do now that its done or what I put on it or even what I should expect. He was a real jerk. Im sure if you get a better ENT, they will be nicer and perhaps even make sure you don’t feel much pain, (As I have read from other peoples posts on here.)

    If its a real problem, i’d at least check it out with a ENT, then decide, cause it could really make a well worth it difference.

  21. I just had my nose cauterized today. Thanks to my allergy medication drying me out, I was getting nosebleeds all the time. The first time I tried, I got to the doctor’s office and chickened out. That was a year ago. But now that the nosebleeds have become daily, no more putting it off. I was so scared that I took the day off from work, took a strong sedative the night before, scheduled the procedure for early in the morning and had my friend drive me to the doctor and even go in with me. Turns out it didn’t hurt! A bit of stinging for a while but nothing I’d even call pain. Not anywhere near what I had been expecting. What a pleasant surprise! And BTW I’m pretty sure this was without any anesthetic. My primary care doctor did the procedure – didn’t need an ENT.

  22. I had my nose cauterized about 8 hours ago. I had been putting it off for about a week because the thought of it freaked me out! I can do injections but the thought of having a soldering iron up my nose did not do anything for me! So after suffering nose bleeds all of yesterday, on and off at work, then at a meal that night and then once again as \i lay in bed not even touching my nose!! So I had it packed overnight and then went to ENT in the morning, I was there for 20 minutes, I didn’t have cotton though I had a nasal spray that was squirted into my nose and then I sniffed it up, a few minutes later a plastic tube with what looked like a very small lead tip was put in my nose, because i was expecting like a soldering iron type thing \i thought this was to just giv my nose a poke, but he took it out and just said ‘all done’ and i was sitting there like wa? Where is the soldering iron I was fearing haha. So overall a very easy experience, now its just a bit uncomfortabel with a small amount of discharge. Don’t put it off, I wished I had got it done far sooner!!

  23. try adding a little humidity to the apartment too. not that this will help? i used to live in PA and moved to texas 26 yrs. ago. the air here is a lot more humid than the dry PA air.

    sounds like the cauterizing might be the best bet if its a serious problem. (sorry i’ve not had many nose bleeds and don’t get them at all here in houston.)

  24. Like some other people on here. I was having bad nose bleeds lasting 20-30 minutes. I had them every week. Not as often as most people-but just gushers. I would have dark red blood clots coming out. I couldn’t get them out my nose, so had to come out my mouth. VERY NASTY.
    I had my nose cauterized yesterday. My ENT was not helpful and was very short with his answers to my questions.
    Has anyone else here had these same experiences as below?
    _I’m getting discharge out my nose-it’s clear and has light red blood streaks.
    _I also feel like when ever I breathe in or laugh-that something is moving and opening. IS this the wound?
    –How long did it take to heal?
    __What should I expect?

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