Nosebleeds are very common occurrence affecting 1 in every 7 people at some point in their life. Nosebleed is an active loss of blood from the nose caused due to the rupture of the small blood vessels in the front and the posterior part of the nose.
The nosebleeds which arise from the posterior part of the nose can be dangerous, as this type of nosebleed occurs after an injury, due to high blood pressure, atherosclerosis or any bleeding disorder.
What Causes a Nosebleed?
Nosebleed has various causes. The most common cause is dry air and constant nose picking.
Nosebleed Caused by Dry Air. Dry air can cause dryness of the nasal mucous membrane. This dryness can lead to crusting inside the nose, which may itch and become irritated and cause nose bleeding.
Nosebleed Caused Due to Nose-Picking. If you have a tendency to pick or scratch an itchy nose, then it can also cause bleeding from the nose.
Nosebleed Due to Medications. Taking certain medications, such as antihistamines and decongestants, can also lead to dryness of mucous membrane of the nose and can be a cause of a nosebleed.
Trauma or Injury. Nosebleeds due to injury such as fall, a blow on the nose, or a car accident might indicate a skull injury and would require immediate medical attention.
Other Causes of Nosebleeds are: Acute and chronic sinusitis, allergies, common cold, bleeding disorder, usage of blood thinners, frequent nasal sprays, foreign body, trauma to nose, non-allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps, severe high blood pressure, cancer and clotting disorder.
Home Treatment for Nosebleed
A nosebleed can be easily managed at home if it is not severe or frequent. If you get a nosebleed, follow these simple basic steps to stop it.
- Sit straight and upright so that the head is above the heart.
- Lean slightly forward to drain the blood out of the nose.
- Do not lean back as it may lead to choking or you swallowing the blood, which might lead to vomiting.
- Use your thumb and index finger and press the nose from its soft part, and breathe through your mouth during this process. Press nose for about 5-10 minutes.
- Once the bleeding from the nose stops, do not blow your nose or do anything which would start it again.
When to Seek Medical Treatment for Nosebleed
Seek a doctor’s help in the following conditions.
- If the bleeding from the nose goes beyond 20 minutes.
- If the nose bleeding occurs frequently.
- If an injury is a reason behind the nose bleeding.
Treating Nose-Bleeding with Cauterization & Nasal Packing
A doctor examines the nose and cauterizes the blood vessel in the nose to stop the nose bleeding. The doctor might also pack your nose to stop the bleeding from the nose. Cauterization involves the use of silver nitrate solution or an electrical heating device, which would burn the vessel responsible for bleeding from the nose. Cauterization procedure requires numbing the nose before it is performed. Packing the nose involves putting gauze or a latex balloon with pressure on the blood vessel to stop the nose-bleeding.
Prevention of Nosebleeds
Nosebleeds often become scary as they come suddenly without any warning. Nosebleeds are harmless unless they have a serious reason behind it. Keeping the home humidified, avoiding nose picking, and avoiding the use of nasal decongestants can prevent nosebleeds from occurring.
Treating Nosebleeds or Epistaxis With Nasal Packing