Some people just have nosebleeds, and it’s a common and fairly frequent condition for them. They always say it’s nothing, I’m fine, my nose tends to bleed from time to time for no apparent reason. Even though it seems serious and quite disturbing to see someone whose nose bleeds, it usually is linked to some medications or dry air, and most cases are minor and harmless, easily resolved at home. However, sometimes it can be linked to an underlying medical condition which should be treated properly.
If you’re suffering from this problem here are some of the usual culprits, as well as some tips on how to stop a bleeding nose and when you need to seek medical attention.
- Possible Medical Conditions
Nose bleeds can sometimes be caused by liver disease, kidney disease, chronic alcohol consumption, or another underlying health condition. All of these conditions lower the blood’s ability to clot which eventually leads to a nose bleed.
Nosebleeds can also happen due to hypertension or congestive heart failure, or hypertensive crisis. If you’ve recently had a cold, allergic response to something, or you’ve been blowing your nose frequently, it may be causing the nosebleeds.
- Dry air
Your nosebleeds may be caused by the dry air from indoor heating or outside cold temperatures. It can dry out your nose lining and cause cracks and bleeds o the surface. A humidifier might alleviate the symptoms as well as using nasal sprays to moisten the nostrils.
- Blood thinning medications
Anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medications, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat pain can all cause nosebleeds. Your blood needs the ability to clot in order to stop a bleeding so any medications which prevent the blood from clotting can give you a nosebleed or make one harder to stop.
Even if they are the cause medical conditions which require these medications are much more serious than a nosebleed, so don’t even think about stopping them if the doctor hasn’t ordered you to do so.
- Nose picking or scratching
By constantly scratching or picking your nose or even by accident you can injure the blood vessels in the nostrils, causing a bleed. This is more common for children, but adults who tend to pick their nose can suffer form it too.
How to stop a nosebleed at home?
If your nose starts bleeding you need to lean your head backwards and pinch your nostrils shut, keeping them shut for 10 minutes, breathing through the mouth. You can also make a nose pinching device by taping together tongue depressors.
If your nose starts bleeding again take a nasal decongestant spray like Afrin or Dristan and spray it in your nostrils to constrict the blood vessels. Pinch your nose again and keep the pressure for a few minutes.
If you want to stop your nose from bleeding again you can apply saline and topical ointments on the inside of your nose, but only after the bleeding has stopped.
When should you be worried?
Nosebleeds are rarely serious or life threatening conditions and the majority of cases get resolved easily at home. However, there are certain instances when a nosebleed can get serious and need medical care and attention. Especially if you’re taking blood thinners like aspirin or warfarin, nosebleeds can be quite disturbing and you’ll need to see your doctor. He might even need to adjust the dosage.
Frequent nosebleeds, like more than once a week, are also concerning and need to be brought to your doctor’s attention. They might even point to some other serious medical condition.
Another worrying symptom is if your nosebleed lasts for more than a few minutes and you’re unable to stop it with direct pressure.