Medical Condition

Treatment and Prevention of Nosebleeding (Epistaxis)

Nosebleeds are common and not usually serious. Most nosebleeds are anterior nosebleeds and can often be treated at home. Anterior nosebleeds usually occur suddenly and don’t last long.

They result from many causes, like dry air and repeated scratching or picking of the nose. You should call your doctor immediately if you can’t stop the bleeding from your anterior nosebleed.

A posterior nosebleed can be more serious, and you should contact your doctor immediately or go to the ER if you think you might have a posterior nosebleed.

Treatment Of A Nosebleed

Treatment for nosebleeds usually depends on the type and cause of the nosebleed. Follow these steps to stop a nosebleed:

  • sit down and firmly pinch the soft part of your nose, just above your nostrils,
  • hold for at least 10-15 minutes
  • lean forward and breathe through your mouth in order to drain blood down your nose instead of down the back of your throat
  • place an ice pack or cold towel on the bridge of your nose
  • stay upright, rather than lying down, to reduce the blood pressure in the blood vessels of your nose and to discourage further bleeding

If the bleeding eventually stops, you won’t usually need to seek medical advice. However, in some cases, you may need further treatment from your doctor or a specialist.

If you have an anterior epistaxis, you bleed from the front of your nose, usually a nostril.

Don’t lie down when trying to stop a nosebleed, since lying down can result in swallowing blood and can aggravate your stomach.

As stated already, you can apply a cold compress over the bridge of your nose or use a nasal spray decongestant to close off the small blood vessels.

See your doctor immediately if you’re unable to stop a nosebleed on your own, as that might be a sign that you might have a posterior nosebleed that requires more invasive treatment.

Treatment for nosebleeds usually involves applying pressure to stop the bleeding, but rolling a silver nitrate stick in the affected nostril can also help.

The doctor may insert gauze or cotton into your nose, a procedure known as a nasal packing, but if the doctor can see the source of your bleeding, the doctor may use a silver nitrate chemical or heat to seal the blood vessel.

Surgical options for epistaxis include arterial ligation to tie off the vessel and embolization to place material inside a vessel to prevent blood from flowing through it.

If you or someone you know suffers from frequent or prolonged nosebleeds, or are experiencing bleeding from the nose after head trauma, you need professional medical care.

How To Prevent Nosebleeds

You can’t always prevent nosebleeds from happening, and you can do the following to help lower your chances of getting them:

  • Keep the inside of your nose moist, since dryness can cause nosebleeds. Use a cotton swab to gently smear a thin layer of petroleum jelly in your nostrils, including before you go to bed. You can also use an antibiotic ointment instead of petroleum jelly.
  • Use a saline nasal product. Spraying it in your nostrils helps keep the inside of your nose moist.
  • Use a humidifier in your home. Your nostrils might be dry because the air in your house is dry, but a humidifier will help take care of that.
  • Don’t smoke, because, smoking can irritate the inside of your nose and dry it out.
  • Don’t pick your nose, and don’t blow or rub it too hard.
  • If your child is having nosebleeds, keep his fingernails short and discourage him from picking his nose.
  • Don’t overuse cold and allergy medications. They can dry out your nose. In some cases, some of these medications can cause nosebleeds or make them worse.
  • Discuss your medications with your doctor to find it if they might be causing your nose bleeding. But keep taking them unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • wear a head guard during activities in which your nose or head could get injured
  • Always follow the instructions that come with nasal decongestants. overusing these sprays can cause nosebleeds
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