A nosebleed may frighten you, but it is not a very serious issue. They can be treated at home. During a nosebleed, blood flows from one or both nostrils. It may last from a few seconds to 15 min and sometimes more. The medical name of nosebleed is epistaxis. In this condition, the 1st question is how to stop a nosebleed? A bloody nose in most circumstances is nothing to fear.
What you should do
To stop a nosebleed you should:
- Keep calm
A bloody nose is scary but it is rarely dangerous.
- Pinch your nose
Sit down and then gently pinch the soft part of the nose above the nostrils for 10-15 minutes. If the nose is still bleeding then soak a cotton ball in nose spray and place it into bleeding nostrils and again pinch for 10 minutes. Pinching the soft part of your nose will compress blood vessels and helps to stop bleeding.
- Lean forward
Lean forward and breathe through your mouth, it will help to drain blood into the nose. It will also prevent the flow down to the back of your throat. If there is blood in your mouth, spit out: do not swallow it.
- Use decongestant nose spray
Use three sprays of decongestant nose spray, like Afrin, into the side of bleeding.
- Ice bag
Another way is to place an ice bag or frozen vegetables on the bridge of your nose.
- Stay upright
Furthermore, you should stay upright instead of lying down. This can help to reduce the blood pressure in the vessels of your nose and reduces further bleeding.
- Avoid blocking your nose
Avoid blocking your nose with a cotton ball or tissues as it will worsen the bleeding.
- Check your blood pressure
Check your blood pressure, high blood pressure causes nosebleed.
- Avoid blowing
Once the bleeding stops, avoid blowing your nose for two days.
- Avoid exertion
Avoid exertion-avoid lifting heavy objects because it can take up to two weeks to heal after nosebleeds.
If the bleeding eventually stops, then there is no need to seek medical treatment. But in some cases, the bleeding lasts for a longer time hence, you will have to visit the doctor for a proper checkup.
When you should seek the medical advice
In the following cases, you must seek medical advice.
- If you are taking blood-thinning medicine (anticoagulant) and bleeding doesn’t stop.
- If you have a blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia then you must seek medical advice.
- If you are suffering from anemia then you must seek medical advice.
- A child under two years of age is suffering from a nosebleed.
- You are facing nosebleed regularly.
- If the nosebleed lasts for more than 20 minutes.
- If you are suffering from a heavy nosebleed.
- Nosebleed causes difficulty in breathing.
- Due to heavy nosebleed, you swallow a large amount of blood that causes vomit.
- If you suffer nosebleed after a serious car accident.
Causes of Nosebleed
Our nose contains tiny blood vessels that are very delicate to be damaged very easily. Common causes of nosebleeds include:
- Picking nose
- Blowing the nose hardly
- Injury to your nose
- The inside of the nose becomes dry and cracked due to temperature and humidity changes.
What type of people gets nosebleeds?
Nosebleeds are fairly common, and some people face them regularly. They are not very serious. Everyone can have nosebleeds, but the following people are often affected by this:
- Children aged between 2-10 years
- Elderly people get nosebleeds.
- Pregnant woman gets nosebleeds.
- People who regularly intake coagulants and aspirin.
- People who suffer from blood clotting disorder often face nosebleeds.
Either nosebleed are serious or not
They are not very serious, however heavy and regular nosebleeds may indicate serious health problems such as high blood pressure and should take medical advice. Excessive bleeding and prolonged nosebleeds can cause anemia. Nosebleeds lasting for a long time can cause further issues.
How to prevent nosebleeds?
You will wonder how to stop a nosebleed?
Preventive measures can help you to minimize nosebleeds. Preventive measures include:
Do not pick your nose
Do not pick your nose and keep your fingernails short. Frequent nose-picking can irritate the nasal membrane. This will cause to nose to bleed again.
Do not blow your nose
Blow your nose gently and to a very little extent. It is quite tempting to blow your nose to remove remnants of nosebleeds. You should resist the urge.
Use head guard
Use a head guard during the activities where there is a risk of head or nose injury.
Use of nasal decongestants
Overuse of nasal decongestants can cause nosebleeds. So, be careful in their usage and follow the instructions given to them.
Don’t bend down
Lifting heavy objects, bending down, and performing physical activities within 24-48 hours can cause a serious problem. So, you should be careful.
Keep the lining of the nose moist
Inhaling air can dry the mucous membrane. This dried mucous can irritate the nose and causes nosebleeds. You can use a saline spray to moist the inner lining of the nose and use this spray every 2-3 hours.
Nasal gel or petroleum gel can be used to moist the nasal lining.
Use of humidifier
Humidifier adds moisture to the environment. This will also help to keep the mucous of your nose moist. It can be used while sleeping to prevent nosebleeds. Humidifier only needs regular cleaning. The moisture and heat in it will attract bacteria and molds.
Use protective equipment
If you frequently suffer from nosebleeds and you are a sportsman then, you should wear protective equipment to avoid any injury. A transparent mask for the nose is also available.
For the question of how to stop a nosebleed? Different approaches can be used by doctors to treat recurrent nosebleeds.
In this approach, they use heat or chemical substances to seal up the blood vessels so they stop bleeding. And it stops further flow of blood.
A doctor may pack the nose with medication-soaked cotton or cloths. These medications are designed to stop bleeding, and they will further encourage blood clotting. Eventually, it will stop nosebleeds.
If your nose is broken or there’s a foreign object, the doctor will remove the object and correct the fracture.