Nosebleeds are a common occurrence and as scary as they may look, they aren’t usually a sign of anything serious and can be treated at home. The medical name for it is epistaxis. Here are the different types of nosebleeds as well as causes and home remedies.
Types of nosebleeds
This is the most common type and the one that’s treated through home remedies. It’s when the nosebleed occurs within the lower end of the noise in the lower septum. The blood vessels in this area lie close to the surface making them susceptible to injury. One sign that the bleed is anterior is that blood will flow out of one nostril when the person is sitting or standing.
This type of bleed is rare. Bleeding begins high within the nose and blood flows down the back of the mouth and throat even when the person is sitting up or standing. These nosebleeds can be very serious and often require urgent medical attention. They are more common in people with high blood pressure or an injury to the nose. They are also more common among older people.
Common causes of nosebleeds
The most common cause of nosebleeds is dry, heated air. It has the effect of drying out the delicate tissue inside the nose making it more likely to bleed when rubbed or when you blow your nose. Other causes include:
- Nose picking
- Blowing nose forcefully
- Inserting an object into your nose
- Injury to the nose and/or face
- Allergic and non-allergic inflammation of the nasal lining
- Blood-thinning drugs
- Cocaine and other drugs inhaled through the nose
- Chemical irritants like cleaning supplies
- High altitudes where the air is thinner (lower oxygen) and drier
- Deviated septum
- Frequent use of nasal sprays and medication to treat itchy, runny, or stuffy nose
When to see your doctor
Most anterior nosebleeds can be treated at home, but you should seek emergency help if:
- You are injured.
- There is heavy bleeding.
- You are having trouble breathing.
- The nosebleed lasts longer than 15 minutes.
- A child younger than 2 has a nosebleed.
- You are taking blood-thinning medication.
- You are vomiting blood.
How to stop nosebleeds
Getting worked up about a nosebleed can actually make it worse. Stay calm and if it’s someone else bleeding, remind them that most nosebleeds are not life-threatening.
Lean forward and pinch
This next step of stopping nosebleeds is agreed on by both medical science and holistic practices. Sit down upright, don’t lie down. Lean forward so that it comes out of your nose and doesn’t flow back down your throat. Squeeze the soft middle area of your nose using your index finger and thumb and continue to hold for approximately five minutes. Blow through your nose while pinching your nose shut. To manage the mess, you can pinch while holding tissue or cloth to absorb any blood that flows out.
If you have access to a cold compress, hold it against your nose for a few minutes. This will help constrict the blood vessels in your nose helping stop nosebleeds. It can also help to apply an ice pack briefly to the back of your neck.
Don’t stuff your nostrils
It may seem like the obvious move to stop nosebleeds, but you should not stuff your nostrils with anything including tissue or cotton wool. According to experts, stuffing your nose can remove the top layer of the nose lining, making it bleed even more easily.
It may not be possible to prevent all nosebleeds, but some precautions can decrease the risk of occurrence, including:
- Not picking your nose.
- Blowing gently.
- Keeping the nasal area clean and moist using saltwater sprays or gels.
- Avoid irritants such as smoke.
- Avoid allergens and manage your allergies.
- Taking precautions to manage conditions that require blood-thinning medications.
- Using a humidifier to keep the environment moist. 6 Ways To Make A Natural Humidifier At Home
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