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Having A Nosebleed? Here's A Guide On How To Stop And Prevent It

Nosebleeds are a common problem that mostly occurs in adults and children aged between 3 and 10. Nosebleeds occur rarely and don't always indicate signs of serious health problems. The nose contains many small blood vessels, which are situated close to the surface in the nose and are fragile and have the tendency to bleed easily.

Drying of the nasal membranes and nose picking are the most common causes of nosebleeds. Nosebleeds are of two types - anterior nosebleed and posterior nosebleed. Anterior nosebleed occurs in the front of the nose and posterior nosebleed occurs in the back of the nose.

If your nose is bleeding continuously, you should seek immediate medical attention. But, most of the times a nosebleed doesn't pose danger. There are many ways to stop a nosebleed and prevent it from occurring. Read on to know more.

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How To Stop A Nosebleed

  • Relax yourself

Try to stay calm and relaxed because if you are nervous, it can actually make you bleed more.

  • Sit up and lean forward

Sit up and lean forward to prevent the bleeding from trickling down the back of your throat as this could lead to vomiting and it may irritate your stomach. By sitting up, the blood pressure in the veins of the nose reduces.

  • Pinch your nose

Use your thumb and index finger to press your nostrils and breathe through your mouth. Keep pressing it for 10 to 15 minutes as this will help put pressure on the part of the nose that's bleeding and will stop the blood flow.

If the bleeding continues even after 10-15 minutes, repeat the process for 10-15 minutes more. And avoid using any cotton pads, tampons, and tissues to stop the bleeding.

  • Use a decongestant nasal spray

Use a decongestant nasal spray such as oxymetazoline in both the nostrils. Press both your nostrils and breathe through your mouth for 5 to 10 minutes.

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What To Do After A Nosebleed

  • Avoid picking your nose

Don't pick your nose as it can irritate the nasal membranes. Frequently picking your nose after a nosebleed will increase the chances of getting another one.

  • Don't blow your nose

Avoid blowing your nose within 24 hours after a nosebleed. When you start blowing your nose do it in a gentle manner.

  • Avoid bending down

After a nosebleed, avoid bending down and lifting heavy objects as it may cause a strain in your nose. Resume all your heavy activities in the next 24 to 48 hours after a nosebleed.

  • Use an ice pack

Apply an ice pack on your nose for not more than 10 minutes to tighten the blood vessels and lower inflammation.

When To Seek A Doctor

  • If your nose is bleeding for more than 30 minutes
  • You feel faint or light-headed
  • If the nosebleed has caused due to an injury or accident
  • If you experience frequent nosebleeds.
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ow To Prevent Nosebleeds

  • Keep your nose moist

Dryness causes your nose to bleed, so keep the inside of your nose moist by applying petroleum jelly with the help of a cotton pad. You can also keep your nostrils moist with the help of a saline spray.

  • Clip your fingernails

Keep your fingernails short. If you have long and sharp fingernails you may prick your nose accidentally and it may start bleeding.

  • Use a humidifier

Humidifier adds moisture to the mucous membranes and prevents it from drying out, thus preventing a nosebleed.

  • Protect your nose

Consider wearing a protective nose mask while playing any kind of sports that may hurt your nose and cause a nosebleed.

Common FAQs

How long should a nosebleed last?

A nosebleed should last for 20 minutes. If your nose bleeds for more than 30 minutes and it affects your ability to breathe, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Can dehydration cause nosebleeds?

Yes, dehydration is often linked to nosebleeds. So, drink plenty of water to hydrate your body's organs.

Can stress cause nose bleed?

If you are having a stress headache, it can result in a nosebleed.

What should I eat after a nosebleed?

Consume more of vitamin K rich foods such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc., as this vitamin helps in the formation of the blood clot and prevents excess bleeding.

Can you go to sleep after a nosebleed?

Keep your head elevated on a pillow while you sleep. Try not to move your head much and sleep comfortably.

Story first published: Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 18:00 [IST]
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