Deviated septum and epistaxis (nosebleeds) are two common nasal conditions that children may encounter at some point in their lives. When your child’s septum is deviated, nasal passages can be drier, which can cause more frequent nosebleeds. Although rare, nosebleeds can become chronic or have an underlying cause. For these conditions, it is important to see a qualified pediatric ENT specialist to determine the best course of action for your loved ones.
The surgeons of Pediatric ENT Associates in Birmingham, AL, specialize in the diagnostic and surgical care of head and neck diseases. Treating children ranging from infants to age 18, our members are all board-certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology with current Alabama medical licenses, and are actively published in peer-review medical journals. Our Pediatricians and Pediatric Surgeons also participate as teachers, presenters, and instructors both regionally and nationally. If your child is having recurrent nosebleeds, our surgeons are well versed in the diagnosis and treatment of nasal conditions, and will ensure the best care for your child.
How Are Deviated Septum And Epistaxis Linked To Each Other?
If your child is having difficulty in breathing, particularly on one side of the nose, it may be due to a nasal obstruction caused by a deviated septum. A deviated septum occurs when there is an abnormal shape to the wall that divides your child’s two nostrils, causing problems with proper breathing and nasal discharge. It can be congenital, or occur as a result of an injury to the nose. And when your child has this abnormal configuration of the nasal cartilage, it becomes more difficult for air to pass. This makes it more likely to dry out the nasal membranes and therefore, the lack of moisture makes your child more susceptible to nosebleeds, which is medically referred to as epistaxis. While nosebleeds can cause alarm, they usually aren’t serious. Most will stop on their own and can be cared for at home. To learn more about epistaxis and deviated septum, visit ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- Stay calm. Have your child sit down on a chair or on your lap, and reassure them. They should sit upright with their head slightly tilted forward.
- Do not let your child lean back. This may cause them to swallow blood, making your child gag, cough, or vomit.
- Gently pinch the soft part of the nose (below the bony ridge) between two fingers (thumb and index finger) using a piece of tissue or a clean washcloth. If the bleeding continues, move your point of pressure.
- Have your child breathe through his or her mouth.
- Keep pressure on the nose for approximately 10 minutes, even if the bleeding stops.
- Have your child rest and relax after a nosebleed. Discourage any nose picking, nose-blowing, rubbing, or rough play.
What Complications Can Happen?
A severely deviated septum can cause complications if left untreated. In addition to nosebleeds, the condition can cause:
- Chronic sinus problems
- Disrupted sleep
- Loud breathing during sleep
- Only being able to sleep on one side
- Facial pain
- Dry mouth
- Pressure or congestion in the nasal passages
Nosebleeds can also lead to further problems such as anemia if they occur over a prolonged period of time.
When To Seek Medical Help
Although nosebleeds may not be too severe, they can still cause concern and may need the expertise of an Otolaryngologist. Call the doctor if your child:
- Has frequent nosebleeds
- Has nosebleeds that don’t stop after two attempts of applying pressure for 10 minutes each
- Has heavy nosebleeds that cause them to get dizzy or weak
- Tends to bruise easily
- Has heavy bleeding from minor wounds or bleeding from another place (e.g., gums)
- Has recently started taking a new medication
Medical Treatment For Nosebleeds by an ENT specialist
Visit our Pediatric ENT surgeons at Birmingham, AL if your child is having severe nosebleeds. Treatment options for nosebleeds, depending on the cause, may include:
- Packing the nose with medicated gauze to constrict blood vessels
- Cauterization – application of heat energy (electrocautery) to seal the bleeding blood vessel
- Applying silver nitrate to seal the bleeding blood vessel
- Medication adjustments – stopping or reducing the amount of blood-thinning medications can be helpful. Medications for controlling blood pressure may be necessary as well
After stopping the bleeding, the Otolaryngologist will examine your child to determine the underlying cause. In some cases, your child may require surgery to either fix a problem with nasal blood vessels, repair a nasal fracture, or correct a deviated septum.
Schedule A Consultation in Birmingham Today to see a Otolaryngologist
Our Pediatric surgeons have the experience and expertise necessary to accurately diagnose nasal conditions and create an individualized treatment plan for your child. In addition, the Pediatric ENT Associates surgeons are active members in interdepartmental programs at Children’s of Alabama, providing a comprehensive and thorough approach to your child’s care. If your child has been having recurrent nosebleeds, or you would like to learn more about epistaxis or a deviated septum, contact Pediatric ENT Associates at Children’s of Alabama.