Nosebleeds – Causes, Treatments and Prevention

nosebleeds causes treatments and prevention

Nosebleeds are common. Most people have suffered from a nosebleed once or twice in their life. Most of the time it only lasts a few minutes, then stops.

2 Types

There are 2 different kinds of nose bleeds.  The first, happens when the blood vessels in the front of the nose bleed. The second, occurs in the back or deeper part of the nose. When this happens, the blood flows down the throat and can be dangerous.

Common Causes of Nosebleeds

  • Injury to the nose.
  • Breathing cold or dry air.
  • Picking the nose.
  • Sinusitis
  • A foreign object stuck in the nose
  • Blood-thinning medication (anticoagulants)
  • Chemical irritants
  • Common cold
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Allergies
  • Deviated septum
  • Large doses of aspirin, or blood thinners
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • High blood pressure
  • Bleeding disorders such as hemophilia
  • Blood clotting issuesCancer
  • Clotting disorders
  • Aspirin use
  • Cocaine use
  • Nasal sprays

Less Common Causes for Nosebleeds include

  • Alcohol use
  • Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP)
  • Leukemia
  • Nasal and Paranasal tumers
  • Nasal polyps

If visiting a doctor for this issue, a physical examination will be performed to determine the cause. They will check for foreign objects, masses, and large blood vessels, You will be asked questions about medical history, and current medications. Make sure to tell your doctor about any other symptoms or injuries you have experienced recently.

How to Stop the Bleeding

  • Sit up. Keep your head above your heart.
  • Do not lay down. It causes you to swallow blood and can upset your stomach
  • Lean forward and tuck your chin to keep the blood from draining down the throat.
  • Gently blow your nose and get any clotted blood out of the nose and spray with a nasal decongestant such as Afrin.
  • Pinch your nose closed with your thumb and index finger for 5 to 10 minutes. This puts pressure on the nose and can make the blood stop flowing.
  • Also, a cold compress over the bridge of the nose may help.
  • After it stops, do not touch it. It may cause the nose to start bleeding again.  If the bleeding continues, seek medical care.

How to prevent nosebleeds

We cannot always prevent this from happening, but there are steps that you can do to help prevent them.

  • Use a humidifier. In Colorado, the air is very dry and can cause the nasal passages to dry out.
  • Keep the inside of your nose moist with a saline spray or gel.
  • Do not overdo it with antihistamines or decongestants. They can dry out the nose.
  • Do not smoke. It irritates the inside of your nose and dries it out

Most nosebleeds don’t require medical assistance, but if it lasts longer than 20 minutes and is uncontrollable, they may need urgent medical attention. If frequent nosebleeds are a problem, contact Colorado ENT & Allergy to see one of our ENT physicians to get your nose bleeds under control once and for all.