Also known as epistaxis, a nosebleed is a form of active blood loss from the tissue lining the nose.
The nose is primarily prone to bleeding because the blood vessels that help warm and humidify the air lie close to the surface of the nose. So, when the nose is injured, even if it’s just a minor one, the blood vessels can be affected.
What could lead to nosebleeds?
There are several possible causes of nosebleeds. The most common ones are nose picking and dry air.
Other possible causes of nosebleeds include allergies, acute sinusitis, chemical irritants, common cold, foreign object in the nose, frequent use of nasal sprays, and nose trauma.
When should you see a specialist?
Most nosebleeds aren’t serious and can stop on their own. However, you need to see a specialist immediately if nosebleeds:
- Follow an injury
- Cause difficulty in breathing
- Last longer than 30 minutes even with self-care such as compression
- Occur in children younger than 2 years old
What can be done for occasional nosebleeds?
For occasional minor nosebleeds, you can do the following to stop the bleeding:
- Sit in an upright position and lean forward
Doing so can prevent further bleeding. Leaning forward reduces the blood pressure in the veins of the nose while sitting upright keeps you from swallowing the blood.
- Gently blow your nose
This is to help clear out any clotted blood.
- Pinch your nose
With your thumb and index finger, pinch your nose and breathe through your mouth. This puts pressure on the bleeding point and often stops the bleeding. Do this for 10 to 15 minutes.
If the bleeding doesn’t stop, repeat the process for a total of 15 minutes.
Nosebleeds are oftentimes just a minor annoyance. However, if you’re having frequent nosebleeds or if they bother you, don’t hesitate to see a specialist.