With winter right around the corner, many of us can expect to have at least one nosebleed in the next few months.
Whether it’s the dry, cold air outside, the dry hot air inside or the transition between the two, winter is a disaster zone for anyone who’s prone to nosebleeds.
This article will teach you how to avoid nosebleeds and how to treat them.
What Causes A Nosebleed
According to Healthline: There are two kinds of nosebleeds:
An anterior nosebleed occurs when the blood vessels in the front of the nose break and bleed. This is the most common form of nosebleed.
A posterior nosebleed occurs in the back or the deepest part of the nose. In this case, blood flows down the back of the throat. Posterior nosebleeds can be dangerous.
Common causes include:
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- Foreign object stuck in the nose
- Chemical irritants
- Allergic reaction
- Injury to the nose
- Repeated sneezing or nose-blowing
- Nose picking
- Cold or dry air
- Extreme temperature changes
- Upper respiratory infection
- Large doses of aspirin
How To Stop A Nosebleed
It makes sense to treat every nosebleed as if it is an anterior one, and try to stop it at home. “You will be right 94% of the time,” says Dr. Mary Pickett, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.
1. Sit down: Lean forward slightly so that the blood can drain.
2. Pinch the nose: Breathe through your mouth and pinch the soft part of the nose to help reduce blood flow. If the bleeding continues, try to reposition your fingers a little higher or lower and try again.
3. Check the nose: After 10 minutes release the pressure and check the nose. If it is still bleeding, pinch the nose again for another 10 minutes.
4. Use a old compress (optional): Use an ice or cold pack to hold against the bridge of your nose to help constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow.
5. Check the nose again: Once the bleeding has stopped, clean around (but not inside) the nose with a damp cloth. Do not attempt to blow your nose, bend down or do strenuous activity for the next 12 hours.
Just remember: Do not tilt your head back. This may cause blood to run down the back of your throat and can become a choking hazard. Swallowed blood can also irritate the stomach and cause vomiting which may make the bleeding worse or cause it to start again.
When to Seek Medical Advice
Nosebleeds can be an indication of a bigger issue. If you have any of the following symptoms, seek emergency medical assistance:
- Frequent nosebleeds : If you have a nosebleed more than once a week, it may be a symptom of high blood pressure.
- Persistent nosebleeds : In a person who is on blood-thinning medication such as warfarin, nosebleed may result in abnormal blood loss.
- Persitent bleeding : If the bleeding goes on for 30 minutes or more, call a doctor.
- Thin watery blood from the nose : Especially if it follows a blow to the head, which can indicate a possible skull fracture.
- Frequent nosebleeds : If these are accompanied by bleeding gums and bruises that develop for no apparent reason, tell your doctor immediately.
The best way to avoid a nosebleed is to keep your nose hydrated. You can do so by purchasing a humidifier to counteract dryness caused by indoor heating.
You can also line the nose lightly with vitamin E cream if it’s feeling dry. If you live in a colder region, simply protect your nose with a scarf.