Nosebleeds are very common and can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons. Nosebleeds are when the blood vessels in your nasal cavity burst and blood comes out. Nosebleeds can occur because of underlying conditions or at random. They are also referred to as “epistaxis.”
The nose is a very sensitive part of the human body. There are dozens of blood vessels in the nose that can burst, causing an uncomfortable nosebleed that is hard to stop. The nosebleed itself can also impair breathing. It can be painful, depending on the cause. Although it may be frightening to watch someone have a nosebleed, it rarely indicates that there is a big problem.
Causes of Nosebleeds
Since there are many blood vessels inside and it is a more sensitive part of the body, anything can trigger a nosebleed. There are people, however, who are more prone to developing nosebleeds. Though it is unknown as to why some experts theorize that there is a hereditary trait.
The most common causes include:
- Trauma to the nose
- High altitudes
- Nose picking
- Dry air
- Cold weather
- Underlying conditions
- Blowing your nose too hard
Symptoms of Nosebleeds
Once you know the cause, it is best to understand the symptoms. While everyone who develops a nosebleed has different symptoms, there are a few that are seen often. These symptoms include:
- Soreness in the nose
- Throbbing pain
- Non-stop bleeding
- Dark red or bright red blood
- Stinging pain
- Inability to breathe through the nose
Diagnosis of Nosebleeds
It is not necessary to consult a doctor for a diagnosis most of the time. That being said, if you are having chronic nosebleeds and having trouble stopping them, you should consult with a doctor.
Nosebleeds can cause a blockage in your nose which makes it hard to breathe. This not only feels uncomfortable but can be dangerous. Although it is rare, if you have an underlying condition that is causing the nosebleeds, they can worsen over time. It is better to be safe and consult your doctor about any worries you have regarding your chronic nosebleeds.
Doctors will start by asking questions about your symptoms and your family history. You should keep a journal or planner with the symptoms so that it is easier to explain. After the questions, your doctor will do a physical exam and use various tools to view your nasal passageways. It is especially concerning if you are struggling to breathe.
Your doctor may shine a bright light to take a better look. Usually, the symptoms are harmless and there is nothing but a bit of trauma present due to the cause of the nosebleed. Once your doctor diagnoses you, you can then start your treatment if necessary.
Treatment of Nosebleeds
There is no exact treatment for nosebleeds because there are so many causes. For example, if your nose is bleeding only slightly because of the dry weather that left cracks inside your nose, it is likely that the bleeding will stop on its own.
However, if you are gushing blood from your nose, you need to stop it so it doesn’t worsen. You can stop nosebleeds at home by pinching your nose for a minimum of five minutes. You need to tilt your head slightly down and continue pinching. It is important to sit upright so blood doesn’t go back into your nose and drain into the throat.
You can also use an ice pack to lower the swelling. Sometimes when you get nose bleeds, your nasal passageways swell painfully. Ice packs and cold compresses can decrease inflammation, which brings temporary relief. If you are prone to nosebleeds because of stress, you should try and take away your stressor or find a coping mechanism.
If you have a nosebleed because you have a cold, try not to blow too hard. Although it is tempting to try and blow your blocked nose, harsh blowing can cause trauma to the blood vessels. Instead of blowing your nose aggressively, you should use steam to open your nasal passageways.
Management/Prevention of Nosebleeds
There are a few effective ways to prevent bleeding. Sadly, some medications do cause clotting which can lead to complications in a person’s nasal passageways. This leads to nosebleeds over time. The best thing to do is to avoid medicines like aspirin or ibuprofen, as they increase the chances of clotting.
One of the main causes of nosebleeds is a sudden increase in pressure. If you are prone to nosebleeds, you should avoid overexerting yourself. When you overexert yourself, your blood pressure rises. Since there are many blood vessels in your nose, they can burst and cause a nosebleed.
Not all preventative techniques, however, include avoiding something. You can also use nasal saline sprays that are found over-the-counter. These sprays provide moisture, which helps if the cause of the nosebleed is dryness or weather. This spray can be used up to three times a day. It rarely causes side effects but should only be sprayed in your nose.
You can also purchase a home humidifier. These humidifiers blow air into your home and provide extra moisture and humidity. Since dry air causes cracks in your nose, the extra moisture should decrease the chances of a nosebleed.
Conclusions on Nosebleeds
Overall, nosebleeds should only be inconvenient since they rarely develop into worse health conditions. Although underlying conditions may cause nosebleeds, it is less common than other causes like scratching your nose or the common cold.
If you are experiencing a nosebleed, you should always remain calm. If you panic, the bleeding can worsen and you may scare yourself more than necessary. Pinch the bridge of your nose while tilting your head forward and sitting up straight for at least 5 minutes. The blood should stop, allowing you to breathe correctly.
- Can nosebleeds be dangerous? Luckily not. If you have not experienced a traumatic injury, most nosebleeds will clear up easily at home.
- What happens if my nose bleeds every day? Although nosebleeds aren’t serious, if you experience frequent nosebleeds it could indicate additional serious health complications.
Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!