Nosebleeds (epistaxis) are either
anterior, originating from the front of the nose, or
posterior, originating from the back of the nose. Most
nosebleeds can be treated at home, but some may require medical
Most nosebleeds are
originate from the septum, which separates the nasal chambers of the
nose. The nose can bleed for several reasons, including trauma, such as
a fall or blow to the face, dryness, picking, colds
Posterior nosebleeds are
common. They tend to occur in older adults. The bleeding is usually
from an artery in the back of the nose and almost always requires
can I stop
Most nosebleeds can be stopped without the need of medical attention by
using the following recommendations:
- Lean forward slightly and also keep the head tilted forward. Tilting
the head back may cause blood to enter the sinuses or throat, which
could lead to the inhaling or swallowing of the blood.
- Pinch the soft parts of the nose together with your thumb
index finger, while at the same time pressing towards the face. Hold
the nose for at least four minutes. Repeat the procedure as necessary
the blood flow stops.
- You should sit in an upright position to keep the head at a higher
level than the heart.
- Applying ice to the nose may also aid in stopping the blood flow.
To prevent bleeding again once it's stopped try to avoid
blowing your nose.
If you need to blow your nose do it with your mouth open. Keep your
head elevated. Avoid bending over and strain, such as lifting heavy
objects, for several hours.
to prevent future nosebleeds:
- Use a humidifier to
counteract dryness cause by indoor heat.
- Keep your nostrils moist by using a saline nasal spray.
- Keep your fingernails trim in case of an inadvertent pick (especially
- Include adequate amounts of bioflavonoids in your diet. Bioflavonoids
(a class of antioxidants) have been found to increase the strength of
capillaries and blood vessel walls. Foods rich in bioflavonoids include
citrus fruits, parsley, blueberries, blackberries,
strawberries, raspberries, grapes, cherries, and dark chocolate.
Should I seek medical attention?
If the bleeding is caused by a serious injury.
- If the bleeding continues after 30 minutes of applying pressure.
- If blood is flowing from both nostrils.
- If blood loss is excessive.
- If your nasal passages become blocked.
- If blood runs down your throat even when the nose is pinched.
- If the nose bleeds several times a day or several days in a row (this
can be a sign of a more serious problem).
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