Nosebleeds | Causes & Risk Factors

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What causes nosebleeds?

The most common causes are dryness (often caused by indoor heat in the winter) and nose picking. These 2 things work together -- nose picking occurs more often when mucus in the nose is dry and crusty.

Other, less common, causes include injuries, colds, allergies or cocaine use. Children may stick small objects up the nose. Older people may have atherosclerosis (which is the hardening of the arteries), infections, high blood pressure and blood clotting disorders, or they may be taking drugs that interfere with blood clotting, such as aspirin. A rare cause of frequent nosebleeds is a disorder called hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). Sometimes, the cause of nosebleeds can't be determined.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 09/96

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