A nosebleed always appears suddenly, which can lead to a stupor when a person does not know at all how to stop a nosebleed. Because of this, you can “organize” big troubles for yourself. For example, if you tilt your head back, which many people do, it can get into the larynx along the back wall of the nasopharynx, and from there into the respiratory tract or stomach, causing vomiting and even pneumonia! What to do if the blood from the nose does not stop and what are the causes of such bleeding, we will describe in the article.
What is a nosebleed?
A nosebleed is the loss of blood from the tissue that lines the inside of the nose. The nose contains many blood vessels that are close to the surface at the front and back of the nose. They are very fragile and bleed easily. Nosebleeds are common. It can be frightening, but rarely indicates a serious health problem. About 60% of people have encountered it at least once in their lives, it is often found in adults and children aged 3 to 10 years.
Why does the nose bleed?
Nosebleeds have many causes. Fortunately, most of them are not serious.
The most common cause of nosebleeds is dry air. Dry air can be caused by hot climates with low humidity or hot indoor air. Both environments cause the nasal membrane (the delicate tissue inside the nose) to dry out, crust or crack, and increase the chance of bleeding when the nose is rubbed or blown.
Other common causes of nosebleeds include:
- colds (upper respiratory infections) and sinusitis, especially episodes that cause repeated sneezing, coughing, and blowing your nose;
- strong blowing;
- trauma to the nose and / or face;
- allergic and non-allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal mucosa);
- blood-thinning drugs (aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, warfarin, etc.);
- chemical irritants (chemicals in cleaning products, chemical fumes in the workplace, other strong odors);
- great height. As altitude increases, the air becomes thinner (lack of oxygen) and drier;
- deviated septum (irregular shape of the wall separating the nose from two sides);
- frequent use of nasal sprays and medicines for itching, runny or stuffy nose. These medicines – antihistamines and decongestants – can dry out the nasal membranes;
Other less common causes of nosebleeds include:
- alcohol consumption;
- bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, von Willebrand’s disease, or leukemia;
- high blood pressure;
- facial and nasal surgery;
- nose tumors;
- nasal polyps;
- immune thrombocytopenia;
The reason may tell you what to do if the nose bleeds.
Why can’t you tilt your head back when your nose bleeds?
Many people instinctively tilt their heads back during a nosebleed, but this is not the way to do it. This will not only not stop the bleeding, but also change its direction – the blood will go into the stomach and cause irritation of its walls, which will later lead to nausea and vomiting. In addition, if all the blood goes into the stomach, in case of hospitalization, the doctor will not be able to determine the amount of blood loss, and this information is very important for determining further actions.
With intense bleeding from the nose, before the arrival of the ambulance, you need to sit with your head down to prevent swallowing, and substitute any improvised container for collecting blood – a cup, a bowl, so that doctors can determine the amount of blood loss.
When to See a Doctor?
An ambulance should be called when the blood does not stop for about 15-20 minutes.
If blood flows profusely from the nose and you gradually lose a large amount of fluid, this is also a wake-up call that it is better to call an ambulance.
If you feel bad, you understand that you will soon lose consciousness, and vomiting has begun – call your doctor immediately.
How to stop nosebleeds?
To stop a nosebleed, follow these steps:
- Relax. There is no need to panic, because when you are excited, the heart begins to beat faster and blood loss increases. Therefore, it is very important to calm down.
- Sit up straight and slightly tilt your body and head forward. This will prevent blood from running down your throat, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- For nosebleeds, breathe through your mouth and as deeply as possible.
- Open the collar and loosen the belt. Open a window if possible.
- What should I do if my nose bleeds? Use a tissue or damp cloth to collect blood.
- Squeeze the wings of the nose with your thumb and forefinger. Be sure to press the wings of the nose against the hard bony ridge that forms the bridge of the nose.
- Continue pinching your nose for at least 5 minutes before checking to see if the bleeding has stopped. If your nose is still bleeding, keep squeezing it for another 10 minutes.
- Apply an ice pack to the bridge of your nose to further constrict the blood vessels (slowing bleeding) and provide comfort.
All these tips are also suitable for those who are interested in how to stop a nosebleed in a child at home.
First aid for nosebleeds should be provided strictly following the previous tips, or by ambulance.