Nosebleeds are quite common, and if you have them infrequently, they’re usually nothing to worry about. Chronic nosebleeds, however, may be cause for concern.
There are two kinds of nosebleeds – anterior and posterior. An anterior nosebleed occurs when the blood vessels in the front of the nose break and bleed.
A posterior nosebleed occurs in the back or the deepest part of the nose, causing blood to flow down the back of your throat. This type of nosebleed can be dangerous.
In this blog, the specialists at DFW Sinus Select will explain the top nosebleed treatments.
What causes a nosebleed?
A nosebleed can occur for many different reasons. A sudden or infrequent nosebleed is rarely serious, but if you have frequent nosebleeds, you could have a more serious problem.
Nosebleeds often occur when the tissues inside your nose (the nasal membranes) dry out because of a dry climate and the use of a central heating system, which further dries the air.
Other common causes of nosebleeds include:
- Nose picking
- A foreign object stuck in the nose
- Chemical irritants, such as ammonia
- An injury to the nose
- Repeated sneezing
- A deviated septum
- Acute sinusitis (sinus infection)
- Upper respiratory infection
- Medications such as aspirin, blood thinners, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve)
- Medications used to dry out nose and sinus tissue, such as antihistamines or medicated nasal sprays.
Other causes of nosebleeds include high blood pressure, a bleeding disorder, blood clotting disorder, and cancer.
Most cases don’t require nosebleed treatments and they usually stop within a few minutes. However, you should seek medical attention if you have a nosebleed that lasts longer than 20 minutes or occurs after an injury. Either may be an indication that you have a posterior nosebleed, which is more serious.
What are some effective nosebleed treatments?
You can usually stop a nosebleed yourself at home. While sitting up, squeeze the soft part of your nose using your thumb and forefinger, making sure that your nostrils are fully closed. Breathe through your mouth, and keep your nostrils closed for 10 minutes while leaning forward lightly. Release your nostrils after 10 minutes to see if the bleeding has stopped. (It helps to time it, because 10 minutes can seem like a long time.) If not, repeat these steps.
Don’t lie down or tilt your head forward when you have a nosebleed. This could cause blood to run down the back of the throat, and you’ll end up swallowing it. This can irritate your stomach and cause vomiting.
In addition, it can also help to apply a cold compress over the bridge of your nose to help constrict the blood vessels. Using a nasal spray decongestant may also close off the small blood vessels.
How can I prevent a nosebleed?
There are several ways to help prevent a nosebleed, which including the following:
- Use a humidifier to counteract dry air in your home.
- Avoid picking your nose.
- Stop smoking, smoking can dry out and irritate the nose.
- Use a saline nasal spray to keep nasal tissues moist.
- Limit your intake of aspirin, which can thin your blood and contribute to nosebleeds. Discuss this with your doctor first so he or she can determine if the benefits of taking aspirin outweigh any risks in your particular case.
- Use antihistamines and decongestants in moderation, since they can dry out the nose.
- Moisten the lining of the nose by gently applying a light layer of petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment (such as Polysporin) with a cotton swab several times a day.
Where can I find nosebleed treatments in the Dallas/Fort Worth area?
DFW Sinus Select is a practice that’s dedicated to the care, diagnosis, and treatment of nose- and sinus-related disorders.
If you’re suffering from recurring nosebleeds, make sure to schedule an appointment with a DFW Sinus Select ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to be properly diagnosed. Once the cause of your nosebleeds is determined, we’ll work with you to create an effective treatment plan.