Nosebleeds are common in both, children and adults and involve bleeding from the nostril, nasal cavity, or nasopharynx. In most cases, it occurs only in one nostril, but when there’s heavy bleeding, it can go into the nasopharynx which is the place where both nostrils meet.
Causes and Epidemiology
Sudden and rare nosebleeds are usually harmless. However, if they happen too often, it’s best to visit your doctor.
Here are the most common causes of nosebleeds:
- Allergic rhinitis
- Chemical irritants
- Foreign object in the nose
- Cold air
- High blood pressure
- Deviated nasal septum
- Low platelet count
- Upper respiratory infection
- Nose picking
- Large doses of aspirin
Since nosebleeds, or also called epistaxis, are usually easily controlled, most people don’t seek medical care when experiencing a nosebleed episode. This is the reason why the actual nosebleed incidence in youth is unknown.
As you already know, anyone can be affected by epistaxis, especially kids with migraines. Nevertheless, it’s most common among kids at the age between 2 and 10, and seniors between 50 and 80 years.
Logically, the first sign of nosebleed is bleeding from the nose. In cases when there’s a massive bleeding, the blood can transfer from the affected nostril into the other one, and even go into the nasopharynx. The person can even start spitting or vomiting blood if the blood from the nose descends to the throat or stomach.
An excessive nosebleed can be followed by dizziness, light-headedness, confusion, and fainting. But, if you also notice you’re bruising easily, your gums bleed during brushing, or you have blood in your stool or urine, your nosebleed might indicate a more serious health problem.
You can easily control your nosebleed at home, of course, if it’s not serious.
If you place your body and head in the right position, you can stop your nosebleed. However, you shouldn’t tilt your head backward as this can cause the blood descend into your throat, lungs, or go into your sinuses, thus inhale or swallow blood. Instead, you should lean slightly forward and tilt your head forward.
If you swallow the blood, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, so make sure you spit it out when collected into your mouth or throat.
Blow any blood clots out of the nose, even though this might worsen the nosebleed.
Another solution to stop your nosebleed is applying saline nose drops 2-3 times a day in each nostril. You can make your own saline solution using a quart of tap water and a teaspoon of salt. Mix and boil for 20 minutes, and let it cool before using it.
Do these simple techniques to relieve your nosebleed, but if it happens too often, it’s best to visit your doctor to ensure it’s not caused by another more serious health problem.