Nose Bleeds (Epistaxis)
- Nose Picking
- Forceful Nose Blowing
- Allergic Rhinitis
- Viral Rhinitis
- Inhaled Steroids (usually causes trauma)
- Cocaine Use
- Blood Thinners (Aspirin, Plavix, Warfarin)
- Low Platelets (ITP, TTP)
How to Prevent Nose Bleed?
- To keep the lining of your nose moist, gently apply a light coating of petroleum jelly inside your nose twice a day. You can use nasal lubricants such as orgels, secaris or rhinaris.
- Avoid Nose Picking
- Counteract the drying effects of indoor heated air by using a humidifier at night in your bedroom.
- Quit smoking. Smoking dries out your nose and also irritates it. Exposure to second hand smoke can be a risk for others.
- Open your mouth when you sneeze.
- Avoid blowing nose
How to stop nose Bleed?
Most of the nose bleeds are easily controlled with simple first aid measures at home.
If you get a nosebleed, sit down and lean slightly forward. Keeping your head above your heart will make your nose bleed less. Lean forward so the blood will drain out of your nose instead of down the back of your throat. If you lean back, you may swallow the blood.
Use your thumb and index finger to squeeze together the soft portion of your nose. This area is located between the end of your nose and the hard, bony ridge that forms the bridge of your nose. You'll need to get medical attention if a nosebleed goes on for more than 15 minutes.
What will doctor do if bleeding doesn't stop with pinching method?
The doctor packs the bleeding nostril with a piece of cotton saturated with a drug that causes blood vessels in the nose to narrow (constrict), such as phenylephrine.
A local anesthetic, such as lidocaine, numbs the nose so the doctor can look in the nose and find the bleeding site.
For minor bleeds, often nothing more is done. For more severe or recurring bleeding, sometimes the doctor seals (cauterizes) the bleeding source with a chemical (silver nitrate) or electrocautery (cauterization using an electrical current to produce heat).
Another treatment is to place a long absorbent sponge in the nostril. The sponge swells in contact with moisture and compresses the bleeding site. The sponge is removed after 2 to 4 days. Rarely, the doctor may need to pack the entire nasal cavity on one side with a long strip of gauze. Nasal packing is usually removed after 3 days.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Get emergency care if:
- Bleeding does not stop after 20 minutes
- Nose bleeding occurs after an injury to the head -- this may suggest a skull fracture and x-rays should be taken
- Your nose may be broken (for example, it is misshapen after a blow or injury)