A nosebleed, also known as epistaxis, is the common occurrence of bleeding from the nose. It is usually noticed when blood drains out through the nostrils. Sometimes in more severe cases, the blood can come up the nasolacrimal duct and out from the eye. Fresh blood and clotted blood can also flow down into the stomach and cause nausea and vomiting.
There are two types: anterior (more common), and posterior (less common, more likely to require medical attention). Initially treatment is generally with applying pressure for at least five minutes over the lower half of the nose. If this is not sufficient nasal packing may be used. If bleeding episodes continue endoscopy is recommended.
About 60% of people have a nosebleed at some point in their life. About 10% of nosebleeds are serious. Nosebleeds are rarely fatal, accounting for only 4 of the 2.4 million deaths in the U.S. in 1999. Nosebleeds most commonly affect those younger than 10 and older than 50.