You have probably experienced the situation before: a relative begins to bleed nosebleeds, or you experience nosebleeds yourself. Why is this happening? What causes nosebleeds? And how do you stop nosebleeds? Let’s explain.
Why do you bleed nosebleeds?
Do not worry, nosebleeds are usually completely harmless and without any serious cause. It is relatively common among both adults and children. There are many small blood vessels in the nose, which can rupture due to temperature changes or when you catch a cold.
The air that moves through the nose can dry out or irritate the membranes that cover its inside, forming crusts that can fall off and cause nosebleeds. Because temperature is an important factor in this, it is common to bleed nosebleeds in winter.
Most nosebleeds occur in the anterior part of the nasal wall. They rarely occur in the deeper part of the nose, but when this happens it is more difficult to control. But do not worry, none of these types are deadly. Here are the main reasons:
- Irritation caused by allergies or cold
- Very cold or dry air
- To cheat you very hard or pick you in the nose
- Any damage or abnormalities in the septum
- Chemical products
- High blood pressure
- In extreme cases: possible tumors
What should I do when I start bleeding nosebleeds?
The first thing you should do when you or someone else starts bleeding nosebleeds is to stay calm, especially if it concerns a child. Calm them down and reassure them that it is going well and that it will pass soon. You should also keep in mind the following:
- The first thing you should do is sit down and lean forward. Why? Because this prevents you from swallowing the blood. Breathe with your mouth.
- Then sit down, gently squeeze the nose, not on the back of the nose but on the soft part. Squeeze with your thumb and forefinger (squeeze so that the nostrils stay closed). Hold for two minutes before releasing the cap, then squeeze again before releasing the cap to see if the bleeding stops. Breathe through your mouth.
- Remember to keep your head forward to avoid swallowing blood.
- Check every five minutes if your nose is still bleeding.
- If it does not stop, you can put a cold wrap or some ice on the back of your nose for a few seconds to stop the bleeding.
- Many people choose to cover their noses with gauze, which is perfectly fine, but it is important not to cover your nose completely. Just use a little to make sure that the entire nasal passage is not blocked.
- Another thing that is important to keep in mind is that it is not recommended to lie down when you bleed nosebleeds. Although it may seem tempting to lie down on the couch, this is not a good idea, as you risk swallowing blood. It is best to lean your head back so that the blood flows backwards without being blocked on the way.
- Another tip to keep in mind: avoid breathing through your nose or cheating for a few hours after you have stopped bleeding. This can cause you to start bleeding again.
- If the nosebleeds do not stop after 20-30 minutes, you should go to the doctor for help in controlling the bleeding. It is common to use a nasal spray to clog the small veins and control the bleeding.
When should you contact healthcare professionals?
You should consult a doctor if any of these occur:
- If the nosebleed does not stop after 20 minutes.
- If you start bleeding from your nose after a blow to the head. This can indicate a serious head injury.
- If you get a blow to the head and nose changes shape in addition to bleeding. It is possible that you have broken the nasal bone, which is very painful.
You should also keep in mind the following:
- Do you often have nosebleeds, one or more times a week, that are not associated with colds or temperature changes? In that case, you should take a trip to the doctor.