A nosebleed also called epistaxis medically is normally not dangerous, but if you are old nosebleeds come with a number of risks. Treating a bloody nose incorrectly can only make it more dangerous, because of prolonged bleeding. Before we explain the ways to stop nosebleeds, let’s take a look at its causes:
Nosebleeds usually start from just inside the entrance of the nostril. But, why? Because the blood vessels here are quite fragile and are also prone to rupture easily. This is the reason why children suffer from nosebleeds so easily. Other common reasons are
- A blocked nose due to colds
- Picking one's nose roughly
- Blowing one's nose
- Use of cocaine
A nosebleed usually lasts for about 10-20 minutes and is usually easy to treat. But in some conditions, this bleeding can be profuse and last longer like in cases of
- Heart failure
- Blood clotting disorders
- Due to 'blood thinning' medicines
Bleeding can sometimes also happen in areas further back in the nose due mostly to injuries and disorders of the nose.
Usually, nosebleeds can be stopped using simple first aid.
- Sitting up straight helps, especially along with tipping your head forward. It is vital that you don’t tip your head backwards as this can allow the blood to go down your throat and cause vomiting. And this can make your nosebleed worse. So, take care to spit out the blood in your mouth and not to swallow it.
- To stop a nosebleed, pinch the soft, cartilaginous part of your nose using your thumb and forefinger. Spraying your nose with a medicated nasal spray before pinching it can help the bleeding to stop faster. Apply pressure for 10 minutes to get results. Check if your nosebleed has stopped after 10 minutes if it’s not; apply pressure for another 10 minutes. Nosebleeds usually stop after 10 to 20 minutes of pressure.
- Use an ice pack to your nose and cheeks. This will constrict the blood vessels in the nose and stop the nosebleed.
- Use a saline- or water-based nasal gel inside your nose to stop bleeding.
- Remember not to blow your nose or insert anything into your nose for at least 12 hours after your nosebleed is over.
- If the bleeding doesn’t stop even after 20 minutes of applying direct pressure, it’s prudent to rush to a doctor. He will treat your nose to stop the bleeding.
- In a few rare cases, the bleeding is so severe that a blood transfusion is needed, and surgery may be needed to stop it. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ent Specialist.