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Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are a common occurrence amongst people of all ages. One in every seven people living in the United States will develop a nosebleed at least once in their lifetime. Nosebleeds derive from the minuscule blood vessels within the nose that are easily breakable.

There are two types of Nosebleeds:

  1. Anterior Nosebleed – This type of nosebleed occurs in the front of the nose and usually flows out of one nostril when a person is sitting or standing. They are most common in dry climates or during winter when a person is exposed to a dry and heated interior.

Tips to Stop a Anterior Nosebleed:

  • Keep calm as stress can cause the nose to bleed more profusely.
  • Sit straight up and keep your head above chest level.
  • Position your body slightly forward so that blood does not flow into the back of your throat.
  • Use a tissue to gently blow clotted blood out of the nose. A nasal decongestant may be sprayed once the clotted blood is removed.
  • Position your thumb and index finger over your nostrils and pinch them shut. Do not place anything within the nasal passages.
  • Stay in this position for five minutes. If bleeding still persists, hold the nose for an extra 10 minutes.

2. Posterior Nosebleed – These start deep within the nose and has blood dripping down the back of the mouth and throat. These are more severe than Anterior Nosebleeds and generally require a physician consultation.

When Should You Contact a Physician?

If nosebleeds are frequent and preventative measures are not effective, make an appointment with a professional. An Otolaryngologist will examine the ears, nose, and throat to help identify the type of nosebleed. The doctor may recommend one of two treatment plans:

  1. Cautery – A procedure where the blood vessel is burned with a heated source.
  2. Pressure – A gauze or latex balloon may be packed into the nasal cavity to put pressure on the blood vessel.

Tips to Prevent a Nosebleed

  • Avoid nose picking
  • Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment three times a day to the inside of the nasal passageways
  • Use a saline nasal spray to hydrate dried nasal membranes
  • Avoid secondhand smoke
  • Quit Smoking
  • Use a humidifier during Winter months
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