Treating a Nosebleed: Understanding and Treating Anterior Nosebleeds

Understanding and Treating a Nosebleed

Treating a Nosebleed

Also known as epistaxis, nosebleeds can happen from time to time, even though they are more prevalent in children under the age of 10 and adults over the age of 70. Even though nosebleeds are fairly common and are rarely life-threatening, having one can cause a fair amount of distress. Outside of trauma, nosebleeds can occur when the membranes that line the inside of your nose become irritated or dry. The lining of your nose consists of blood vessels, and they are only protected by a thin mucosal membrane, making it easy for a blood vessel to rupture, causing your nose to bleed. While rarely serious, treating a nosebleed is simple when you know the proper steps.

What Causes Nosebleeds?

• Dry air
• Sinus infections
• Allergies
• Nasal polyps
• Having a cold
• Nasal tumors
• Hemophilia
• Trauma/injury
• Use of drugs
• Use of blood thinners
• Frequent nose blowing
• Severe septal deviations
• Improper use of nasal sprays

How to Treat a Nosebleed

There are two types of nosebleeds, anterior and posterior. Anterior nosebleeds are more common and arise from inside the nostrils, while posterior nosebleeds are often more severe, as they arise from the vessels in the back of the nose due to trauma and injury. If you are suffering from a posterior nosebleed, go get treated by a medical professional. However, treating a nosebleed, an anterior nosebleed, can be done safely at home if you follow these simple steps.

1. Sit up straight, or stand up. Do not lie down!

2. Do not lean back. Instead, lean forward and keep the soft portion on your nose firmly pinched together until the bleeding stops. It could take 5 to 10 minutes for the bleeding to subside.

3. Make sure you are breathing from the mouth and not the nose.

4. Release every 10 minutes to see if the bleeding has stopped.

5. Afterwards, avoid blowing your nose. Otherwise, you can cause your nose to bleed again.

6. If compression fails to stop the bleeding, then using a nasal decongestant spray on the side of the bleeding can help stop most minor nosebleeds.

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