Nose bleeding which is also known as epistaxis is the loss of blood from tissues lining the nasal membrane due to excessive pressure.
Anyone can get a nose bled but it’s more common in:
- Children between 2-10 years as a result of colds, sticking fingers, and objects in their noses.
- Pregnant women since their blood vessels expand thus creating pressure on the delicate blood vessels lining the nose.
- Adults (45- 65) as blood takes longer to clot especially those who have a history of high blood pressure.
- Anyone using blood thinning medication.
Types of Nose Bleeding
Anterior nosebleeds– start at the front area of the nose on the septum. Septum is the wall that separates the nose from the other. There are many capillaries in the frontal area of the nose which are fragile. When pressure is applied to the blood capillaries they bleed easily. The bleeding is usually not serious and can easily be treated at home. Common in children due to nose pricking.
Posterior nosebleeds– occur inside the nose, as a result of an injury on the large blood vessels in the back of the nose near the throat. Also, it results in heavy bleeding which may need medical attention. Common in people who were in a fight
Causes of Nose bleeding
So, there are several causes of nose bleeding as indicated below.
- Blowing the nose with force.
- Injury to the face or nose.
- Inserting objects e.g fingers in the nose.
- Use of blood-thinning drugs like aspirin.
- Cocaine and other drugs when inhaled through the nose.
- Regularly use nasal sprays and medication to treat runny noses e.g anti- histamines.
- Chemical irritants.
- Nasal tumors.
- Bleeding disorders.
However, to prevent yourself from nose bleeding;
- Do not put solid objects in the nose and maintain short nails.
- Avoid forceful blowing of the nose.
- Use of protective gear to prevent injury to the face or nose.
- Avoid the use of cigarettes as it makes the nose lining dry and easily irritated.
- Avoid the use of over-the-counter medication to control nasal allergy.
Treatment of Nose bleeding
- Stay calm and relax, no talking or laughing.
- Sit upright and keep the head above the heart. Do not lie down.
- Lean forward a bit. It helps blood from draining down to the throat.
- Using the thumb and index finger hold the nostrils close for 5 -10 minutes while breathing through the mouth. This helps to create pressure on the part of the nose that’s bleeding.
- Once it has stopped do not touch or blow the nose as this may make the bleeding start again. If the bleeding restarts, blow the nose to remove any blood clots and restart applying pressure again for 5-10 minutes.
Seek medical advice if:
- Often gets nosebleeds.
- The nose bleeds for more than 20 minutes even after applying pressure on it to control bleeding.
- Using blood thinners like aspirin, warfarin, etc.