What is a nosebleed?
Epistaxis also known as nosebleed is the loss of blood from the tissue that lines the inside of your nose. The nasal mucosa contains a rich blood supply that can be easily ruptured and cause bleeding. During a nosebleed, blood flows from one or both nostrils. It can be heavy or light and last from a few seconds to 15 minutes or more. Based on the location of the nose, which is the middle of the face, it contains a large number of blood vessels close to the surface of the nose, making it an easy point for bleeds.
Types Of Nosebleeds
- Anterior Nosebleed –This occurs due to the rupture of the blood vessels in the front part of the nose known as the Kesselbach’s plexus.
- Posterior Nosebleed –The blood vessels closer to the throat are ruptured in this type of nosebleed. The bleeding usually continues for longer than 20 minutes.
Comparatively, posterior nosebleeds require medical attention more than the anterior ones as the bleeding can become heavy.
Causes of nose bleeding
A large number of blood vessels are present in the nose, which makes them prone to bleeding. There are many factors that contribute to nose bleeds, which include both common and serious causes:
- Dry or Cold Air
- Allergic Reactions
- Respiratory Tract Infections
- Chemical Irritants
- Picking of Nose
- Sneezing Repeatedly
- Taking Aspirin in large doses
- High Blood Pressure
- Bleeding Problems
- Clotting Problems
When should I call a doctor?
- The nosebleed doesn’t stop after 20 minutes of direct pressure, especially if your child has an injury to their head or face. Serious injuries can affect the nose or skull.
- There’s an object stuck in your child’s nose.
- Your child has other symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, tiredness, vomiting, or trouble breathing. This can indicate too much blood loss, or blood dripping down their throat.
- Similar to a child, call your doctor if a nosebleed doesn’t stop after 20 minutes of direct pressure, or if you lose a lot of blood (more than a cup).
- You should also talk with your doctor if you experience trouble breathing, gagging, or vomiting due to blood dripping down your throat.
- A serious injury to your head or that face causes a nosebleed also needs medical attention.
- If you’re bleeding from other parts of your body — ears or rectum, for example, this could indicate internal bleeding, blood clotting problems, or blood vessel disorders.
Home remedies to nose bleeding
- Stay calm. If you start to get nervous, it can actually make you bleed more. Try to relax.
- Sit up, don’t lie down. Keep your head above your heart.
- Lean a little bit forward. This keeps the blood from draining down the back of your throat.
- Pinch your nostrils closed. Use your thumb and index finger to pinch just above your nostrils for at least 10-15 minutes while you breathe through your mouth. This puts pressure on the part of your nose that’s bleeding and can make the blood stop flowing.
- Apply ice on the bridge of your nose to decrease swelling and bleeding. Use a cold pack or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel to protect your skin.
- Pack your nose with a cotton ball, tissue, tampon, or gauze bandage to stop the bleeding.
Prevent another nosebleed:
- Keep your nose moist.Put a small amount of petroleum jelly inside your nostrils as needed. Use a saline (saltwater) nasal spray. Do not put anything else inside your nose unless your healthcare provider says it is okay. Do not use oil-based lubricants if you use oxygen therapy. They may be flammable.
- Use a cool mist humidifier to increase air moisture in your home.This will help your nose stay moist.
- Do not pick or blow your nose for at least a week.You can irritate or damage your nose if you pick it. Blowing your nose too hard may cause the bleeding to start again. Do not bend over or strain as this can cause the bleeding to start again.
- Avoid irritantssuch as tobacco smoke or chemical sprays such as cleaners.