What to Do When Your Nose Bleeds
Everyone has probably been faced with this situation at some time of their life: you experience the nosebleed yourself or a relative who gets a nosebleed. What causes nose bleeds? Why do they happen? We will explain.
Why Do You Get Nosebleeds?
Most of the time the reason behind a nosebleed is not very serious, so don’t worry. It is somewhat common in children as well as adults. Your nose has a lot of very small blood vessels that can break due to colds or temperature changes, for example.
The air that moves through your nose can irritate or dry out the membranes that cover its interior, forming scabs that can also break and cause nosebleeds. It is common for you to have more nosebleeds in the winter, because the temperature is an important factor in causing these ruptures.
The majority of these nosebleeds happen in the front part of the nasal septum. They rarely happen in the deeper part of the nose. Although it’s true that the latter are more difficult to control, don’t worry. None of them can cause death. These are the main causes:
- Chemical products
- Irritation from allergies or a cold
- Very cold or dry air
- High Blood Pressure
- Blowing your nose very hard or picking your nose
- Any lesions or even having a deviated septum
- In extreme cases: possible tumors
What Should I Do When I Get a Nosebleed?
The first thing you should do when someone else or you get a nosebleed is to remain calm, especially in the case of children. Calm your children down and tell them that it’s okay and it will be over soon. You should keep the following guidelines in mind:
- The very first thing you must do is sit down and lean your head back.Why? Because this will prevent yourself from swallowing blood. Breathe through your mouth.
- Then, sitting down, gently squeeze your nose, not the septum but the soft part between your index finger and thumb (so that the nasal cavities are closed). Let it go, after 2 minutes, then to see if the bleeding has stopped, pinch it again and let it go. Breathe through your mouth.
- Remember, to avoid swallowing blood, you must to keep your head back.
- Every five minutes, check to see if your nose is still bleeding.
- If it doesn’t stop, you can apply a cold compress or a little bit of ice on the bridge of your nose for a few seconds to stop the bleeding.
- The usual thing people do, is cover their nose with gauze, which is OK, but it’s important not to completely cover your nose. Just put a small amount of gauze on not to completely close your nasal passage.
- Another thing that you need to remember is that you shouldn’t lie down while you have a nosebleed. Sometimes you make mistakes and many people tend to make people that have a nosebleed lay down on the couch or the ground. As we already said, this is not a good thing to do because, you run the risk of swallowing blood. The best way is to tilt your head back so that the blood goes from below and not to cover it up.
- Another tip to keep in mind: avoid blowing your nose or breathing for a few hours after you have a nosebleed. This can trigger a bleeding again.
- You should see a doctor, if you see that your nosebleed doesn’t stop, so they can help control the bleeding. It’s common to apply a nasal decongestant spray to control the bleeding and seal the small veins.
When to Contact a Medical Professional?
You should go to a medical center in the following cases:
- If you get hit in the nose and besides bleeding, it is deformed. It’s possible that you have broken your nasal septum, which is very painful.
- The nosebleed doesn’t stop after 20 minutes
- You get a nosebleed after you have gotten hit in the head. This may indicate a serious head injury.
You should also keep the following aspects in mind:
- Are you experiencing frequent nosebleeds, once or more a week that is not due to temperature changes or colds? If so, see a doctor as soon as possible.
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