The lining in the nose contains many tiny and delicate blood vessels that help to warm and humidify the air we breathe. Nosebleed happens when one of the blood vessels in the lining of the nose bursts. It can be frightening but most nosebleeds are not serious and can be easily managed.
Nosebleeds are common. They can occur at any age. The common causes of nosebleeds are:
• Nose picking.
• Forceful nose blowing.
• Changes in humidity or temperature causing the lining of the nose become dry and cracked.
• Injury to the nose.
• Infection or inflammation of the nose due to allergies, colds or sinus problems.
• Use of blood thinning medication e.g. aspirin, warfarin.
• High blood pressure.
What to do when nosebleed
• Stay calm.
• Sit upright in a comfortable position and keep your head higher than the level of the heart.
• Lean your head and body slightly forward (DO NOT tilt your head back) to prevent blood from draining down to the throat which may cause choking or vomiting.
• Firmly pinch the soft parts of the nose together between the thumb and index finger for 5-10 minutes. Breathe through the mouth.
• Apply ice (wrapped in a towel) across the bridge of the nose.
• Spit out any blood in the mouth. Swallowed blood may make you vomit.
• Do not pack the nose with gauze or tissue paper.
• Once the bleeding stops, DO NOT bend over, strain or lift anything heavy; and DO NOT blow, rub, or pick your nose for several days.
Get emergency care if
• Bleeding does not stop after 20 minutes.
• The nosebleed follows an accident, a fall or an injury to your head, including a punch in the face that may have broken your nose.
• Heavy bleeding.
• You feel weak or faint.
• You have a rapid heartbeat or difficulty in breathing.
• You are coughing up or vomiting blood.
Nosebleeds aren’t usually serious. However, frequent, heavy or prolonged nosebleeds may indicate more serious health problems. Consult your doctor if:
• You have repeated nosebleeds.
• Taking blood thinners such as aspirin or warfarin.
• You bruise easily.
*This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment from a health care provider. Like any printed material, it may become out-of-date over time.