How to Control Nose Bleeds and High Blood Pressure
Many of you have probably heard that nosebleeds can be caused by high blood pressure, and lowering it can help alleviate the symptom. However, it appears that the list of possible nosebleed causes does not include blood pressure deviation. Can hypertension cause nosebleeds? And how can one stop a nosebleed once it has occurred? Let’s find it out.
Is there an association between high blood pressure and nosebleeds?
The short answer is no. Well, at least in most cases. According to Mayo Clinic, nosebleeds are out of the list of high blood pressure symptoms. The most common causes of nosebleeds are dry air and nose picking. These two are followed by rarer underlying causes, including allergies, intake of anticoagulants, common cold, foreign body inside, etc. If you are already having a nosebleed when your blood pressure becomes high, it can exacerbate it and worsen bleeding. However, it usually happens only when the blood pressure rises to a significant extent.
The American Heart Association says high blood pressure does not normally cause nosebleeds. The only exception is a hypertensive crisis, with readings of 180/120 mm Hg or worse. Consult a doctor ASAP if you have high blood pressure accompanied by a nosebleed (and without a nosebleed too!), as it can be dangerous.
How to stop a nosebleed
When a nosebleed occurs, one should follow certain advice to stop the bleeding and avoid making common mistakes.
- Do not lean your head back if there is blood flowing from your nose. It is a common mistake, which can lead to stomach issues, because leaning the head back is likely to make your blood go to your throat and stomach.
- Do not panic. When you are stressed, your blood pressure may rise, making the bleeding more intensive. There is no reason for panic, after all: occasional nosebleeds happen to anyone, including relatively healthy people, so if such cases do not occur often, and it is not an injury that caused the bleeding, then the nosebleed is likely to stop soon with no adverse consequences.
- Put pressure on the bleeding tissue in the nose by pinching it. So, the right posture is leaned forward, with nose pinched.
- You can also try applying ice packs on the nose bridge.
- Another option is to use oxymetazoline-based medicines, which constrict blood vessels.
- Do not put any materials into your nose.
- If the bleeding does not cease after 15-20 minutes of waiting, it means you could benefit from consulting a doctor. Serious nosebleeds are rare, but if it just won’t stop, call an ambulance. In such cases, nasal packing is carried out. It’s an uncomfortable thing to experience, as they will insert a special balloon or sponge into your nose to press the tissues inside it and stop the bleeding. It is the most commonly used way to stop a nosebleed, though there is a risk of resuming it upon sponge removal. There is an alternative to it being developed: Royal Cornwall Hospital researchers are testing a new medicine called tranexamic acid, which is supposed to be a better option for treatment of nosebleeds. In some cases, hospitals use cauterization to stop the bleeding.
Controlling blood pressure is a more difficult business, as it should be handled by a professional. If you take a wrong pill that you were not prescribed or use an inappropriate dosage, it may have disastrous consequences. All medications designed to reduce blood pressure can be taken only if prescribed by a cardiologist.
However, you can try to control it by changing your lifestyle. Getting rid of extra pounds, maintaining decent levels of physical activity and regular exercising, eating a healthy diet, eating less sodium (way less!), limiting your alcohol intake to one glass of red wine a day, and giving up the smoking habit – all these measures are associated with blood pressure reduction.