Nosebleeds, for the most part, fall into the “annoying but harmless” category of ailment. They are especially common in children, usually harmless, and often easy to stop. However, if you’ve never had one, or have a particularly severe one, it can be both worrying and difficult to control. Panicking will only make things worse, as it causes your blood pressure to rise. So, it’s best to understand the causes and treatment options to help keep your bleeding under control.
There are many different causes of nosebleeds, most of which are entirely harmless. Nosebleeds in children are often due to them picking or scratching at the inside of their nose. Bleeds like these will usually be short, light, and easy to stop.
Another common cause is a change in temperature or air pressure. Generally, this happens when you have traveled to a new place where the conditions are significantly different, you have flown, or the temperature isn’t what you are used to. Even a particularly hot or cold day at home can cause a nosebleed.
Some people find they get nosebleeds either during or after a cold or in allergy season when they have been blowing their nose a lot or using nasal sprays and taking anti-congestion medication.
Other causes of nosebleeds include:
- Injury or blunt trauma to the nose
- Trapped foreign body
- High blood pressure
- Low platelet count
- Christmas disease
- Factor X deficiency
- Ear Barotrauma
- Drug use
- Head injury
How you treat the nosebleed long-term will depend on the cause. However, if you are just looking to make the bleeding stop there are a few things you could try. Firstly, take some deep breaths and calm yourself down, then sit down and tilt your head back gently while pinching the top of your nose for around 15 minutes. After this, lean forward and breathe through your mouth. Repeat if necessary.
If this slows the bleeding but doesn’t stop it, try holding an ice pack to the bridge of your nose for a further 15 minutes.
If neither of these options is successful at treating your nose bleed, you should see a doctor.
In the case of serious underlying conditions, you will need to seek diagnosis and treatment to prevent any further nose bleeds. However, there are certain things you can do to prevent common, harmless nose bleeds. These include maintaining good personal hygiene, not picking or scratching inside your nostrils, blowing gently when you’ve got a cold, and trying to keep warm or cool when you need to.
Remember, while most nosebleeds are nothing more than an annoyance, if you or your child get frequent, severe attacks, with no obvious cause, it could be the symptom of an underlying condition and should be looked at by your doctor. If you have any concerns at all, be sure to get it checked out as soon as possible. It’s probably nothing, but when it comes to your health, it’s worth making sure.