Although nosebleeds are common, seeing a loved one get a nosebleed can be shocking, especially depending on the amount of blood involved!
But fear not: almost every person will have at least one nosebleed in their lifetime. Keep reading our blog to find out common causes of nosebleeds, but also what you can do prevent them—and when it’s time to seek medical attention, too.
Common Causes of Nosebleeds
In the winter months, you can be more likely to get a nosebleed if your indoor air is contributing to drier-than-normal nasal passages, making the blood vessels in that area more fragile and more easily irritated.
All in all, there are many causes that can contribute to a nosebleed. A few of the most common causes include:
- Upper respiratory infections and/or sinusitis
- Blowing your nose with force
- Nose picking
- Injury to the nose or face
- Inflammation of the nasal lining
- Blood-thinning drugs
- Chemical irritants
- High altitude
- Dry air
- Deviated septum
- Frequent use of nasal sprays or antihistamines and decongestants
How to Prevent Nosebleeds
Although not every nosebleed will be preventable, here are a few ways you can be proactive this winter:
- Use a saline nasal spray or saline nose drops in each nostril to keep your nasal passages moist.
- Consider using a humidifier this time of year.
- Use over-the-counter lubricating creams or ointments in your nostrils such as Bacitracin, Eucerin, or Polysporin. Be cautious when inserting the swab into your nose.
- Avoid vigorous nose blowing.
- Avoid nose picking.
- Limit your use of medications that can increase bleeding. Ask us for more information specific to your health and medical history.
- Avoid smoking, which dries out your nose and can irritate it.
- Wear protective gear whenever you’re in a position that could result in an injury to the nose/face, like when playing sports.
How to Stop a Nosebleed
Although every situation is different, if you or your child gets a nosebleed, first and foremost, stay calm. Then you can:
- Pinch the soft parts of your nose together between your thumb and the side of your index finger.
- Press firmly but gently with your thumb and the side of your index finger toward the face, compressing the pinched parts of the nose against the bones of the face.
- Hold this position for 5 minutes.
- Keep your head higher than heart level. Sit up with the head forward slightly.
- Apply crushed ice to nose and cheeks in bag or with washcloth.
- After the bleeding stops, do not pick or blow the nose, bend over, or lift anything heavy.
When You Should Seek Medical Care for a Nosebleed
People with certain health conditions such as hypertension, cardiac disease or those on blood thinners should contact their doctor immediately if they get a nosebleed.
Seek immediate medical attention if the bleeding is rapid or blood loss exceeds the equivalent of a cup of coffee; if the bleeding continues past 20 minutes or it is recurring; if you feel faint, weak, or short of breath; or if you've had a face/nose injury or trauma.
Call Montgomery ENT Center for Personalized ENT Treatments
With practice locations in Wilmington and Cincinnati, Ohio, Montgomery ENT Center is proud to be the sole independent practice in our region. As a result, we’re able to give you more personalized, hands-on, and cost-effective care.
We strongly believe each patient deserves to be treated individually, and by remaining independent, by choice, this allows us to give you that improved experience you deserve. Call 513-891-8700 (Cincinnati/Montgomery) or 937-382-2000 (Wilmington) to schedule an appointment with us today.
This blog is for informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice. See your healthcare practitioner for advice specific to you.