A nosebleed is common but it should not be written off either. A nosebleed is defined as an attack of bleeding from the nose and the medical term is “epistaxes.”
Common causes of nosebleeds:
- Dry, heated, indoor air can dry out the nasal membranes, causing them to become cracked and prone to bleeding when rubbed or picked or when blowing the nose this is very common during winter months. A humidifier is a great option to have especially when you are sleeping.
- Living in a dry, hot, low-humidity climate, which can dry out the mucous membranes.
- Harsh nose picking or nose blowing (common in children).
- Upper respiratory infections (like a cold) and sinusitis, especially infections that include repeated sneezing, coughing and nose blowing.
- Inserting foreign object into the nose (also common in children, marbles, coins, etc.)
- Injury to the nose and/or face (a fight or contact sport).
- Allergic and non-allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal lining) from a chemical intolerance or allergy.
- Nasal sprays, such as those used to treat allergies, if used frequently
- Use of drugs that thin the blood (like aspirin and anti-inflammatories)
- Chemical irritants (such as ammonia or industrial chemicals)
- Cocaine use
- Deviated septum (an abnormal shape of the structure that separates the two sides of the nose)
Less common causes of nosebleeds, which are also nosebleed risk factors, include:
- Alcohol use
- Nasal tumor
- Nasal polyps
- Inherited bleeding disorders like hemorrhagic telangiectasia
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) which is a disorder that is typically caused by low platelet levels resulting in excessive bruising or bleeding.
- Face or nasal surgery
- Second trimester pregnancy
- Type 2 Diabetes is also related to nosebleeds depending on how well controlled their blood glucose is.
When it comes to general nosebleed risk factors, nosebleeds are most prevalent in children between the ages of two and 10 years old and adults between the ages of 50 to 80 years old. However, nosebleeds are possible at any age. The main risk factors for posterior nosebleeds include being older, having high blood pressure or experiencing an injury to the nose or face.
What are some natural ways to stop nosebleeds?
Do not panic.
Keep breathing and try not to panic. Sudden bleeding can be very alarming to any person of any age. If you’re experiencing a nosebleed personally, remain calm and remind yourself that most of the time a nosebleed is not serious and it will likely stop very soon. If you’re with someone who is experiencing a nosebleed, the very first and best thing you can do for that person is make sure he or she stays calm. Getting worked up about a nosebleed can actually make the bleeding even worse, due to a surge in adrenaline and heart beat increasing.
Both conventional and natural remedies will recommend cold compress. To help constrict the tiny blood vessels in your nose that are bleeding, you can hold a cold compress against your nose for a few minutes. The coldness of the compress will encourage the nose’s interior blood vessels to narrow, which should help to stop the bleeding. It can also help to apply an ice pack to the back of your neck briefly, to avoid fainting or the stress hormone response.
Wipe, don’t Stuff Your Nostrils
When people are trying to guess at how to stop a nosebleed, one of the first answers is usually to just stuff the nostrils with something. It’s perfectly fine and expected that you use a tissue, paper towel or cloth to wipe the blood coming out of your nose. Avoid packing the nose because according to experts, packing the nostrils with tissue or cotton can remove the top layer of the nose lining, making it bleed even more easily and for longer.
Lean Over + Pinch
When you’re suddenly experiencing a common nosebleed, you should sit down, but don’t lie down. While sitting, lean forward slightly to help keep the blood from going down your throat. I know it’s not pleasant having it come out of your nose, but that’s preferable to having it go down your throat, which can end up bothering your stomach.
Now that you’re sitting and leaning forward slightly, squeeze the soft middle area of your nose using your index finger and thumb to close your nostrils. Continue to pinch this area for no less than five minutes, ideally ten to fifteen. If you release and blood is still coming out, repeat. Remember to breathe calmly through an open mouth while pinching your nostrils shut.
Even small things like a nosebleed can point to major health concerns like a tumor or uncontrolled blood pressure. Always tell your doctor about your nosebleeds and follow a healthy lifestyle plan of staying active, practicing stress relief, and consuming a diet rich in certified all natural protein, vegetables, heart healthy fats and unprocessed grains.