Nosebleeds: How to Stop and Help Prevent

Occasional nosebleeds are common, especially among the elderly. Although they are not as dangerous as they may seem (at least in most cases), you can stop them faster if you follow certain steps. Besides, there are measures you can take to help prevent them.

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Occasional nosebleeds are common, especially among the elderly. Although they are not as dangerous as they may seem (at least in most cases), you can stop them faster if you follow certain steps. Besides, there are measures you can take to help prevent them.

Why do nosebleeds happen?

The number of blood vessels inside the nose is really large. They are fragile and easy to damage, so nosebleeds can occur even in healthy people, and if you see blood escaping your nose, it does not necessarily mean you have a serious disease. Nosebleeds are more likely to attack the elderly or children, but they are not rare in adults either.

The most common reason is dry air. Such factors and triggers as central heating, air pollution, air conditioning, etc. can make the lining dry, so the nasal membranes crack, and blood starts dropping. Among other possible causes are allergies, injuries, taking certain medications, cold air, etc. As for injury-related nosebleeds, consulting a doctor in such cases is a must.

Stopping nosebleeds: how to

  • Step 1. Whether it’s an injury-related or a spontaneous nosebleed, the first thing to do is to avoid panic. Being scared can aggravate the situation, as the higher the blood pressure, the more intensive the bleeding. If your head is not injured and you do not experience such things often, the nosebleed is likely to stop within several minutes without consequences.
  • Step 2. Mind your body posture: if you are lying, sit down. The aim is to keep your nose above the heart. If the bleeding has already stopped, don’t lie down soon – do your best to keep your head higher for some more time (say, a couple of hours). Otherwise the nosebleed can return on the same day.
  • Step 3. Among the most common self-help errors made in case of a nosebleed is leaning the head back. This approach is wrong: when you do so, blood can go down the throat, and it can result in stomach issues. Let the blood flow out of your nose and keep it away from your throat. Yes, there may be some drops which can spoil your carpet, but a pocket tissue can help prevent it. Instead of leaning back, lean the head forward.
  • Step 4. Pinching the nose is a good way of putting pressure on the bleeding tissues.

If the nosebleed does not seem to stop after fifteen or twenty minutes of following the steps above, it’s time to consult a doctor.

What do doctors do to stop nosebleeds?

Those who have to see a doctor to stop a nosebleed are likely to undergo the so-called nasal packing. The term denotes a very uncomfortable experience when a special sponge is inserted into your nose. Although it sounds scary, seeing a doctor is a must if the bleeding does not stop, as it can be dangerous. Another advice: instead of driving to a hospital, ask a doctor to come to your place, because losing a significant volume of blood can make you feel dizzy.

As of this moment, there are no other widely used measures taken to stop nosebleeds. However, a new research being conducted by Royal Cornwall Hospitals is expected to introduce one more tool for treatment of nosebleeds. They are trialling a medicine called TXA, which stands for Tranexamic Acid. If it proves to be effective, there will be an alternative to nasal package.

How you can help prevent nosebleeds

Since dry air is the most common trigger of nosebleeds, you might benefit from doing the following:

  • Purchase an air humidifier. It can help you avoid the impact of dry air on the nose lining.
  • Use nasal sprays regularly. Sprays containing seawater can be beneficial, as they help keep the lining moist. Besides, such sprays can help remove allergens and regenerate the lining (if they contain dexpanthenol).
  • Avoid smoking and picking your nose, and don’t let your child put objects into it. Also, drink enough water to prevent dehydration.

Occasional nosebleeds are usually not a danger, but if it does not seem to stop, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.

If you want to help your nose, you can go on vacation and swim in a sea: seawater can help treat a variety of nasal issues, including a dry nose, rhinitis and more.

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