Nose bleeds are often dramatic and frightening, but usually not serious, and are dealt with easily. The majority of people will experience a nosebleed at some time in their life, but they are most common in children age two to ten and adults age fifty to eighty. A bloody nose tends to occur in the morning hours in dry, cold climates and during the winter.
If bleeding follows a head injury, the blood may appear thin and watery. The latter is a very serious sign because it indicates that the skull is fractured and fluid is leaking from around the brain.
Nosebleeds: What causes a Nose to Bleed?
Areas that nose bleed-
The two types of nose bleeds are classified by whether the bleeding is coming from the front of the nose (Anterior), accounting for 90 percent of all nosebleeds, or the back of the nose (Posterior).
Anterior nose bleeds are easily controlled at home or by a doctor. Posterior nose bleeds tend to occur more often in elderly people and are more complicated, often requiring hospital admission and management by an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
Reasons why nose bleeding occurs-
Most nose bleeds are due to some identifiable factor such as allergies, blunt trauma to the nose, trauma inside the nose from such things as nose picking or irritation from a cold or cocaine use, and dry nasal passages from cold, dry air.
If you have an underlying condition such as an inability of the blood to clot; are taking blood-thinning medications or aspirin; have liver disease, abnormal blood vessels or cancers in the nose, you may also experience nosebleeds.
High blood pressure can also contribute to a nose bleed, but won’t likely be the only cause.
Most of the time, you will only have bleeding from one nostril, but with any heavy bleeding, the blood can overflow from one nostril into the area inside the nose where the two nostrils converge and spill into the other nostril, causing bleeding from both sides.
Blood can also drip into the back of the throat and be swallowed, causing you to have blood in the mouth or to even vomit blood.
First Aid for Nosebleeds
Aim: To maintain an open airway
If you experience a nose bleed, follow the steps below:
- Remain calm and sit up straight, leaning your head forward—don’t tilt your head back because blood will run down your throat, causing you to gag and swallow the blood.
- Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch your nostrils together ten full minutes, and repeat if the bleeding doesn’t stop after the first ten minutes.
- Don’t swallow any blood; spit it out so that you don’t vomit.
After the bleeding has stopped, try to prevent any further irritation such as sneezing or nose blowing for the next twenty-four hours.
For a nose bleed, lean forward and pinch your
nostrils together for ten full minutes!
Don’t use ice packs, because they do not help. If you have dry air in your home, as most people do in the winter, add moisture to the air with a humidifier or vaporizer or nasal gel and saline nasal spray to help keep the nose from drying out.
When to see the doctor?
See your doctor (preferably an ENT surgeon) :
- For any repeated episodes of bloody nose
- If you have any other bleeding, such as in the urine or stool, along with nose bleeds
- If you are bruising easily
- If you are on any blood-thinning medications
- If you have any underlying disease that may affect your blood-clotting ability, such as liver or kidney disease or hemophilia
- If you are on or have recently had chemotherapy
Hope these simple first aid methods to stop nose bleed might help you when you’re in such trouble and don’t know what to do!
Go to the emergency room if you have repeated episodes of nosebleeds during a short period of time, feel dizzy or light-headed as if you are going to pass out, you have a
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