Allergies and Cauterizing Nosebleeds

Last updated: November 2022

You don't think much about your nose, right? Unless you have a stuffy or runny nose when you are sick. Or when you have consistent allergies. My family of 5 all have allergies, and we experience symptoms such as congestion and runny noses with our allergies. This means we have itchy noses and thus have to blow them several times a day.

For us, that leads to frequent nosebleeds.

And these nosebleeds always seem to start at really inconvenient times. Like when my daughter needs to leave for work or when my son is out for a run.

Does anything help prevent or stop nosebleeds?

Our allergy doctor told us to put emollients in our noses to help with nosebleeds. We tried that and have been doing that for years. Then he told us that we could use a humidifier but only if we cleaned it daily to ensure bacteria would not build up in the machine. Deal!

But, even with those tactics, we all still get bloody noses all the time. Sometimes they are no big deal; other times, we can't get the bleeding to stop.

Our oldest son couldn't seem to get his nosebleeds under control when he was in high school, so we consulted with our allergy doctor. He sent us to an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist (ENT).

Visiting an ENT for further evaluation

The ENT doctor reviewed my son's medical history and asked about his nosebleeds. He asked questions such as, "How often did you get nosebleeds? How long did they last? What had you tried to help the nosebleeds?"

Cauterizing the nose to stop bleeding

The ENT doctor said it sounded like we had tried everything he usually recommends to patients with frequent nosebleeds. The only option left was to cauterize my son's nose. And I can tell you how excited my son was to hear that. He would rather suffer through a blind date than get his nose cauterized!

The ENT doctor began to prepare my son for the procedure, which would take place in the office. It really wasn't so bad. The procedure starts by using a long cotton swab with antiseptic and inserting it into the nose to deaden it. Once the antiseptic soaked in, they used another long cotton swab and put a chemical in his nose to cauterize it.

And that was it!

Healing from nose cauterization

To help my son heal from the cauterization procedure, they put a lot of ointment in his nose. The ENT told my son that he could dab at the end of his nose if the ointment was leaking out. But, he couldn't rub his nose or blow it. And he had to try to stifle any sneeze that was brewing.

These instructions are not an easy feat when you have severe allergies. My son was just finishing up 5 year's worth of allergy shots (immunotherapy). But he still sneezed all the time. So, it was a challenge to keep himself from sneezing.

More than 1 cauterization procedure may be necessary

At 31 years old, he just told me he needs to have his nose cauterized again. A day later, my daughter asked me how she could prevent nosebleeds. She is also using ointment, and it wasn't helping. She had allergy shots for 6 years, and refused to continue. She still struggles with allergies, and her nosebleeds are getting worse.

I told her her brother needed to have his nose cauterized again, so we might as well call the ENT for appointments. She was a little worried about how a nose is cauterized. So, we watched an informational video about cauterizations from an ENT practice. Things haven't changed much over the years.

So, we'll call ENT and book 2 appointments soon. They can both be miserable for a few days. What's the old saying? "Misery loves company?"

Have you had your nose cauterized? Did they use the chemical procedure or the electrical device?

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