Review this page for diagnoses, investigations, red flags and top tips related to Nose.

A to Z of Nose Symptoms

This extremely common symptom is very familiar to all GPs. The most frequent cause, the common cold, is not included here, since nasal obstruction in itself is not usually the presenting symptom. The majority of causes of nasal obstruction are benign, but care should be taken to consider referral in those few cases that do not respond promptly to simple treatment.

This is commonest in the very young and the very old. It may present routinely as a recurrent problem, or in the acute situation when the patient cannot control the bleeding. The latter cases usually result in trivial haemorrhage by clinical standards, but may create a disproportionate amount of alarm. Occasionally, a prolonged nosebleed can cause significant hypovolaemia, especially in the elderly.

Though not usually viewed as a significant symptom, this is very bothersome to those that suffer it. Many of the pathologies overlap with the causes of the ‘Blocked nose’ – please refer to this chapter too, as appropriate. The cause is rarely sinister, but referral for further assessment may be necessary if it persists in spite of treatment.

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Pulse Reference is based on the best-selling book Symptom Sorter.

The experts behind Pulse Reference are Dr Keith Hopcroft who is the co-author of Symptom Sorter, a GP in Essex and Pulse’s editorial advisor and Dr Poppy Freeman, a GP in Camden and also a clinical advisor to Pulse.

This website is for clinical guidance only and cannot give definitive diagnostic information. Practitioners should work within the limits of their individual professional practice, seek guidance when necessary and refer appropriately.