Author Topic: recurring nosebleeds  (Read 11449 times)

scrubbyfish

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recurring nosebleeds
« on: April 24, 2015, 12:46:38 PM »
My son (10) has nosebleeds. I know this is somewhat "common" for kids, and I had the same as a child, but we're getting weary of how it impacts his life (interrupting sleep, stopping activities for a half hour to address, having a messy face until it's clotted safely enough to clean up).

I've spent some money on it already (medical doctor suggestions for hydration supplies, etc, with no effect), and am now considering expensive appointments to alternative practitioners. He has had other big issues that resolved only with that path.

My gut keeps saying it's a vitamin deficiency or something along those lines.

Has anyone seen recurring nosebleeds resolve? What worked?

KiwiSonya

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2015, 01:21:20 PM »
Hi scrubbyfish, I had the same when I was a kid. It started to affect my life and education as I had to sit outside the classroom until it stopped.  My parents (in NZ) got a referral to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist. He reckoned that I had very thin skin or membrane in my nose and prominent blood vessels.  I could sneeze or pick my nose and the bleeding would start. He swabbed dry ice up my nose to burn the end of the blood vessels.  Fuck it hurt but only for 10 seconds and I haven't had one since. That was 30 years ago mind you. They probably have a fancier and more painless option now. But I'm grateful it was sorted. I feel for your son as it's a socially isolating thing and lots of people are weird about blood which they weren't so much when I was a kid. Good luck getting it sorted. Ks

scrubbyfish

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2015, 01:29:14 PM »
Thanks very much, KiwiSonya. Yes, you totally get it!

Happily, my son isn't phased by them, no one teases him, and school staff, etc, are equally at ease about them. They're just frustrating, and I did try to keep him home from school until we could clean this morning's up thoroughly because I worry kids will at some point react by being "grossed out".

My son's doc was willing to refer us to an ENT doctor for cauterization if the other approaches didn't work. We'll go that route very shortly if need be, for sure. It's really good to hear how that was for someone!

JKLescher

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2015, 02:27:42 PM »
I also had this problem as a child. I still do to a much lesser extent during the winter when the air is dry. They were bad enough (4 or 5 a day sometimes) that my parents considered cauterization, but I was against it because I knew someone who had mostly lost their sense of smell afterward. The nosebleeds weren't actually medically serious so they didn't press. I have no idea whether side effects like that are still common.

Nasal sprays didn't help in my case, in fact they'd often trigger a nosebleed. A humidifier left on in my room all night while I slept did help though. It took about a week of sleeping near the humidifier for healing to progress enough that nosebleeds were noticeably less frequent. Over the next few months they slowly became less and less common. After a few years I had grown out of most of it. I still use a humidifier in the winter though, usually after I get a reminder in the form of the first nosebleed of the season.

scrubbyfish

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2015, 04:09:27 PM »
Thank you, JKLescher. I will have to ask about side effects, then. He really enjoys his heightened sense of smell!

Yeah, the nasal spray didn't help, and he even had them in the most humid times in coastal Vancouver! They seem quite random, coming in rounds -regardless of season, climate, activity- and with sometimes a couple of months in between. He did used to get them like clockwork if he was up late the night before, though. It was guaranteed. I told the doctor that but I think she thought I was cuckoo on that point, ha. I can't fathom what the connection would be there (except maybe a bit of extra stress on the body?? or it was depending on the regular sleep cycle to heal, wha??).

HappierAtHome

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2015, 07:01:11 PM »
Me! Typically they were more likely to come on in the heat, when I exercised, or when I became stressed or emotional (so: pretty much all the time). They interfered massively with my life and caused me considerable distress. Mine were gushers, so I ended up at the hospital more than once with significant blood loss.

My mother 'treated' them with naturopathic remedies that made no difference whatsoever; eventually I chose to cauterise. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. In fact, I may have to - they say that cauterisation often 'wears off' after a decade or so (or at least that was the advice I received at the time). If it was a choice between having those nosebleeds again and losing my sense of smell, no contest! Quality of life improves dramatically when you're not spurting blood everywhere, with no warning, and no way to stop it.

Better Late Than Never

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2015, 07:26:44 PM »
Commenting to follow.

My son (age 20) has had a lot of nosebleeds this winter, including one this morning. We can deal with the one he's had at home, but he's had several at work as well. I gave him a saline nasal spray to try, but you know they saying about leading a horse to water. He has an appointment on May 6 for his annual checkup, so I was hoping the doctor would have some advice.

scrubbyfish

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2015, 07:43:33 PM »
My son (age 20) [...] I gave him a saline nasal spray to try, but you know they saying about leading a horse to water.

May not work with a 20 year old, but the deal I made with my kid last year was this: "I'll pay for the nasal stuff. If you apply it every single day without prompting, it's free. If you don't, you have to pay me back for it." He applied it diligently. (But it had no effect.) Maybe this pitch will work if you buy a $200 ointment? ;)

My guy had one last night just after he went to bed, woke with one this morning...then wiped out doing a bike trick (two more areas of bleeding)...then a third nosebleed. Oh, us! Massive crying jag after the bike wipeout, but he's totally fine and happy now.

Happily, only one nosebleed in his life was what I'd call bad -took ages to stop. Most are quite mild (though definitely obvious and needing 5-10 minutes to stop).

HappierAtHome, thank you!!! (As a kid, I got them randomly, and as a teen only in the searing desert heat we lived in. None since.)

swick

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2015, 08:07:14 PM »
Maybe something in the environment is exasperating the nosebleeds? My sister had them growing up especially bad as a child and she discovered she was very sensitive to plastic smells and flame retardant  (she still gets nosebleeds within 10 minutes of going into walmart, like clockwork) but had a really hard time after getting a new mattress. also, artificial airfresheners set her off. If your son has any chemical sensitivities it might be another way it is manifesting.

scrubbyfish

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2015, 08:22:47 PM »
Maybe something in the environment is exasperating the nosebleeds? My sister had them growing up especially bad as a child and she discovered she was very sensitive to plastic smells and flame retardant  (she still gets nosebleeds within 10 minutes of going into walmart, like clockwork) but had a really hard time after getting a new mattress. also, artificial airfresheners set her off. If your son has any chemical sensitivities it might be another way it is manifesting.

Thanks, swick! I'd never heard of that as a trigger for nosebleeds. Our space (suite, property, neighbourhood) is a chemical-free zone, and there's nothing untoward going on environmentally (fire smoke, etc). But this is very good info for others who this might be the cause for!

Cincy Stache

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2015, 08:26:09 PM »
No idea the background, and only looking to help.  My brother had this when he was 14.  Turned out it was a result of his auto-immune hepatitis.  Not sure how they ended up there, but that's where the eventual trail led. 

scrubbyfish

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2015, 08:35:07 PM »
Amazing, Cincy Stache! All leads are welcome, as we never know who will be helped by which one. So, thanks :)

KiwiSonya

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2015, 02:19:16 AM »
Good luck scrubbyfish. It's great that this forum is good for more than just financial advice!

Amesenator

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2015, 04:36:06 AM »
Hi,

A few years ago, my older son had a phase of recurring nosebleeds- my nutritionist indicated it was associated with low levels of Vitamin C. This was a kid who didn't eat fruit. After using Vit C for a bit, he was fine. Does LF consume much fruit?

Good luck!

jbfishing

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2015, 09:20:36 AM »
My dad has had lifelong nose bleeds and about 10 years ago was diagnosed with hht disease.  Hht seems to get worse over time but understanding it helps with treatments.  I also had nose bleeds as a kid but don't appear to have hht.  most doctors don't know about hht so it good to research yourself.  Hope your son doesn't have it, but it can be good to rule things out.

Better Late Than Never

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2015, 12:16:45 PM »
Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions -- a lot of good ideas to investigate. I'm intrigued by the idea of vitamin deficiency. When I google causes of nosebleeds, vitamin deficiency isn't mentioned, but when I searched vitamin deficiency nosebleeds, lo and behold, I found info on vitamin C and vitamin K deficiencies causing nosebleeds.

My son works in the front end of the grocery store where heat is blowing all the time because of the front doors, and he also spends time outside in the cold, dry air pushing carriages, so I was thinking it was the dry air causing his issues since most of his nosebleeds this winter have been at work (It's not a good thing if your cashier suddenly has a bloody nose!)

Maybe it's actually a vitamin deficiency that is resulting in the dry air causing problems. He has a deviated septum and severe allergies which can contribute to the problem. He had 5 years of allergy shots, which has improved his allergy symptoms, however, he also has oral allergy syndrome. When he eats fruits and vegetables he gets a very itchy throat and swollen, tingly lips. As a result, he pretty much doesn't eat any fruits and vegetables, so he could very well have a vitamin C or K deficiency. He currently takes a multi-vitamin every day, but I think I'll add some additional vitamin C to see if that helps and talk to his doctor about vitamin K at his upcoming appointment.

Thank you, scrubbyfish, for starting this thread!

scrubbyfish

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2015, 02:03:38 PM »
Yep, I'm interested in starting with Vit C and Vit K as well! I'll look into dosages for his weight.

Allie

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2015, 03:05:21 PM »
I developed severe nosebleeds a couple years ago.  Went to an ENT and she found a cluster of blood vessels that become problematic, likely due to poor healing from a nose trauma...like my infant head butting my nose accidently...the ENT took a couple minutes, cauterized the offending blood vessel cluster chemically, and I went on my way.  No nose bleeds or complications since.  :-)

Hope you are able to find the cause of the nose bleeds and get it fixed on up!

ltt

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2015, 07:17:56 AM »
Our daughter (10 years old) had a terrible time with nosebleeds until someone suggested swabbing the nostrils with Vaseline.  It keeps everything coated.  I do not know the long-term effects of doing this (we apply a light layer), but our daughter's nosebleeds have pretty much become non-existent.  When we first started, we would swab morning and evening, now just in the morning.  The ENT that we saw said to just keep doing this---she would not cauterize unless nosebleeds were happening daily.

Fleacircus

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2015, 07:16:00 PM »
I have a child who has frequent nosebleeds, and I second the recommendation for petroleum jelly swabbing in addition to humidifier and saline spray.

APowers

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2015, 10:07:37 AM »
My immediate thought is: Vitamin K deficiency?

I would definitely try supplementing with vitamin K. Adding some C probably wouldn't hurt, but supplementing with some K is my first response.

GuitarStv

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2015, 11:12:39 AM »
I've had recurring nosebleeds on and off for my whole life.  Something to do with the veins in my nose being slightly in the wrong spot.

They are made worse by dry air (often a problem in the winter) and by lots of sniffing (cold/allergies).  For years and years I suffered with these . . . Tried multiple nasal sprays, and I've actually had my nose chemically cauterized five times.  Neither worked well.

My boxing coach eventually solved my problem.  Stick a dab of regular, unscented Vaseline over the part that bleeds in each nostril in the morning.  Reapply in the afternoon if your nose is running heavily.  I do this in the winter, or whenever I've got a runny nose.  This has reduced my nose bleeds by about 99%.

shelivesthedream

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2015, 11:17:59 AM »
A friend of mine had nosebleeds at school - not bad ones (she'd just is there with a hanky for a few minutes) but almost daily. She was told she had thin inner nasal skin or something, but she had it cauterised and has barely had one since. No side effects.

1967mama

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2015, 11:40:35 AM »
Several of my kids have had nosebleeds start up around age 10 and continue well into their teens. The one child who had severe ones (bleeding from the eye too) chose to go the cauterization route. It was quite painful (he likened it to someone sticking a burning match up
Your nose) he hasn't had a nosebleed since! I wonder if they could do some local anesthetic or a twilight anesthetic to help a younger person to get through the procedure. Like others posting upthread, my kids get them while sleeping, while exercising, when they have a cold and when they are just sitting in a chair. Completely random!

scrubbyfish

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2015, 09:56:16 PM »
Just to check in and share a tidbit in case it's helpful to anyone...

Saw doctor today. Kid had had a nosebleed this morning again. Doc said "inflammation...looks like a staph infection..." Prescribed anti-staph ointment for that spot for 10 days. I've been looking online, and other people have reported that staph has been a cause for recurring nosebleeds, resolving after years only when a doc noted and treated this.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2015, 09:58:44 PM »
My brother had this. Humidifier helped some, sprays made it worse, ultimately he had it cauterized (I want to say at 11 or 12? Don't remember).

Better Late Than Never

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2015, 07:04:40 AM »
Thanks, scrubbyfish, another idea to talk to the doctor about. DS has his annual physical on Wed, and we'll see what the doctor has to say. In the meantime, I started DS on vitamin C last week. Figured it couldn't hurt. He hasn't had a nosebleed since the 24th, but he's never had them like he did this winter, so something seems to have changed.

Blackadder

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2015, 11:29:46 AM »
No cure here, but about treating the nosebleed when it happens:

I found that the nose bleed can be stopped within 3 minutes by the nostril (deeply, about 3/4 of an inch) with a dripping-wet paper handkerchief/tissue that's been soaked in very cold water and rolled/twisted into a pencil shape. The blood vessels react to the cold and contract, stopping the bleeding much sooner. Make sure the handkerchief is really really wet, or it won't absorb enough heat fast enough. It goes without saying that you should use soft tissue and be insert the tissue carefully.

I'm somewhat conservative about nasal spray. My reaction to dry air and dry membranes is usually to drink enough water. My membranes dry out much quicker when I don't force myself to drink enough water, especially during allergies or a cold.

ender

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2015, 11:36:06 AM »
Our daughter (10 years old) had a terrible time with nosebleeds until someone suggested swabbing the nostrils with Vaseline.  It keeps everything coated.  I do not know the long-term effects of doing this (we apply a light layer), but our daughter's nosebleeds have pretty much become non-existent.  When we first started, we would swab morning and evening, now just in the morning.  The ENT that we saw said to just keep doing this---she would not cauterize unless nosebleeds were happening daily.

This is what I have done too, especially in winter.

I also had the same results - I can't recall the last time I've had a nosebleed and I hardly apply much of it or very often.


Better Late Than Never

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2015, 01:35:44 PM »
DS had  2 more nosebleeds this week, one of which was fairly bad, so we went to his appointment today with the attitude that we should investigate cauterization. The doctor took a look at DS's nose and agreed, so now we have an appointment with an ENT next Friday.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2015, 02:00:54 PM »
DS had  2 more nosebleeds this week, one of which was fairly bad, so we went to his appointment today with the attitude that we should investigate cauterization. The doctor took a look at DS's nose and agreed, so now we have an appointment with an ENT next Friday.

Glad to hear you're following up! Things will get better soon! Best of luck =)

Better Late Than Never

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2015, 02:40:44 PM »
DS had  2 more nosebleeds this week, one of which was fairly bad, so we went to his appointment today with the attitude that we should investigate cauterization. The doctor took a look at DS's nose and agreed, so now we have an appointment with an ENT next Friday.

Glad to hear you're following up! Things will get better soon! Best of luck =)

Thanks for the good thoughts! Will let everyone know how it goes at the ENT.

forummm

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2015, 03:06:10 PM »
Hi scrubbyfish, I had the same when I was a kid. It started to affect my life and education as I had to sit outside the classroom until it stopped.  My parents (in NZ) got a referral to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist. He reckoned that I had very thin skin or membrane in my nose and prominent blood vessels.  I could sneeze or pick my nose and the bleeding would start. He swabbed dry ice up my nose to burn the end of the blood vessels.  Fuck it hurt but only for 10 seconds and I haven't had one since. That was 30 years ago mind you. They probably have a fancier and more painless option now. But I'm grateful it was sorted. I feel for your son as it's a socially isolating thing and lots of people are weird about blood which they weren't so much when I was a kid. Good luck getting it sorted. Ks

I had something similar. Got them all the time. The ENT used some lidocaine to numb it and the used silver nitrate swabs to cauterize the blood vessels. I have almost never had anything happen since. It was quick and not bothersome. And I don't think it hurt due to the lidocaine.

Better Late Than Never

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #33 on: May 15, 2015, 09:01:54 AM »
DS had  2 more nosebleeds this week, one of which was fairly bad, so we went to his appointment today with the attitude that we should investigate cauterization. The doctor took a look at DS's nose and agreed, so now we have an appointment with an ENT next Friday.

Update:
ENT says DS has a severely deviated septum, so much so that he couldn't even see past the deviation on one side. He also saw some dryness, which is probably contributing to his current problem, but the deviated septum is the primary cause. He said he could cauterize, but the problem would come back, and he could only partially cauterize one the side where he can't see past the deviation, so he might still get nosebleeds.

His recommended solution is surgery to repair the deviated septum, and they will cauterize at the same time. We had him cauterize one side today, hoping to reduce the number of nosebleeds he's having right now until we can get surgery scheduled in a few weeks. DS has difficulty breathing, post nasal drip, etc, because of the deviated septum, so surgery will correct a number of issues that he's had for many years -- not just fixing nosebleeds.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #34 on: May 15, 2015, 09:07:58 AM »
DS had  2 more nosebleeds this week, one of which was fairly bad, so we went to his appointment today with the attitude that we should investigate cauterization. The doctor took a look at DS's nose and agreed, so now we have an appointment with an ENT next Friday.

Update:
ENT says DS has a severely deviated septum, so much so that he couldn't even see past the deviation on one side. He also saw some dryness, which is probably contributing to his current problem, but the deviated septum is the primary cause. He said he could cauterize, but the problem would come back, and he could only partially cauterize one the side where he can't see past the deviation, so he might still get nosebleeds.

His recommended solution is surgery to repair the deviated septum, and they will cauterize at the same time. We had him cauterize one side today, hoping to reduce the number of nosebleeds he's having right now until we can get surgery scheduled in a few weeks. DS has difficulty breathing, post nasal drip, etc, because of the deviated septum, so surgery will correct a number of issues that he's had for many years -- not just fixing nosebleeds.

Wow! Glad you found the source of the problem. My dad had a deviated septum. They can be quite nasty. For him, it was contributing to sleep apnea that was causing acute blood pressure and heart rate spikes during his sleep. Once it was fixed, he lost weight, was sleeping better, and was able to get off his blood pressure medication. I've read that in kids sleep apnea can lead to delayed growth. So this could be an awesome change for your son! Rough that it's coming to a surgery, but so good to have answers- especially when there is a fix!

scrubbyfish

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #35 on: May 15, 2015, 09:09:01 AM »
Great that you're getting to the root of things, Better Late Than Never! I really hope this path resolves all the things your DS has been dealing with.

My son has had no nosebleed since the day he started the topical treatment for staph. I didn't know what I was looking for (where to dab the ointment) but within a few days the inside of his nose looked very different! So far so good, and if that doesn't do it, we'll try the next thing. He's gone 15 (and many more) days without nosebleeds before, so our current respite isn't a certain indication.

Better Late Than Never

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #36 on: May 15, 2015, 12:01:17 PM »
Thank you! I hope this will solve several problems for DS, and the ENT said it could help prevent snoring/apnea issues in the future. He's 20 yrs old and 6 feet tall, so I don't think it's affected his growth, but it may affect his sleep.

Scrubbyfish, that's a great sign that your son's nose is looking better! I hope that solves the issue for you!

Bracken_Joy, my brother has severe sleep apnea and uses a CPAP machine at night. When he started using the machine, he reported a lot of the same improvements that your dad had. I also have a deviated septum, although apparently not as bad as DS's, so now you're making me wonder if I should have the ENT look at my nose. I'm a terrible snorer, but I don't really want to get a CPAP. I've used Breathe Right strips for the past 20 years, and it helps, but not enough.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Reply #37 on: May 15, 2015, 12:05:24 PM »
Thank you! I hope this will solve several problems for DS, and the ENT said it could help prevent snoring/apnea issues in the future. He's 20 yrs old and 6 feet tall, so I don't think it's affected his growth, but it may affect his sleep.

Scrubbyfish, that's a great sign that your son's nose is looking better! I hope that solves the issue for you!

Bracken_Joy, my brother has severe sleep apnea and uses a CPAP machine at night. When he started using the machine, he reported a lot of the same improvements that your dad had. I also have a deviated septum, although apparently not as bad as DS's, so now you're making me wonder if I should have the ENT look at my nose. I'm a terrible snorer, but I don't really want to get a CPAP. I've used Breathe Right strips for the past 20 years, and it helps, but not enough.

I would absolutely have it checked. Apnea can be a major issue. I actually wrote a paper about sleep apnea during nursing school. A lot of articles referred to it as the "silent killer" because of it's blood pressure effects. Not to mention the positive social effects of not snoring!!!