Nosebleeds can be pretty scary - they always happen so suddenly and the blood never seems to stop flowing
However, you shouldn't worry. Nosebleeds are usually not a sign of anything serious and can be managed in a few minutes.
According to NHS Inform, to properly stop a nosebleed:
- Stay calm and firmly pinch your nostrils closed. Direct pressure for five to 10 minutes helps to stop the bleeding.
- Lean forward and breathe through your mouth. This will keep the blood from draining to the back of your throat so you don't accidentally breathe it in and choke.
- Sit upright and don't lie down. This reduces the blood pressure in the blood vessels at the back of your nose and will discourage further bleeding.
- Place an ice pack (covered by a towel) over your nose. The localised cold can help constrict the blood vessels in the nose and lessen the bleeding.
Although your initial reaction is to tilt your head back to stop the blood from falling onto your clothes or on the floor, it is better to lean forward to stop blood from entering your throat instead - you may be forced to swallow it (nothing bad will happen, it just tastes bad) or accidentally aspirate it into your lungs.
If the bleeding eventually stops, you won't usually need to seek medical advice. However, if it doesn't stop, or lasts too long for your liking, seek help from a doctor or hospital.
If you know what triggers a nosebleed, you won't be caught by surprise next time
Several things can trigger a nosebleed. One of the most common causes of nosebleeds is hot and dry air.
You see, the inside of your nose is full of tiny, delicate blood vessels that can bleed relatively easy if they are damaged.
During really hot weather, the inside of the nose can get really dry and cracked, which combined with accidentally scratching the inside of the nose too hard, will cause a nosebleed.
Other causes of nosebleeds include:
- Picking your nose
- Blowing your nose too hard frequently
- Injuries caused by a fall or getting hit in your nose
- Side effects of medication such as blood thinners
- High altitudes, where the air is thin
All this causes irritation to the mucus membranes inside the nose, and along with nose-picking, can damage them and cause bleeding.
Simple advice would be to keep your fingernails short and to stop picking your nose so vigorously!
However, if you do have recurring nosebleeds, it is best to talk to a doctor about it.
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