The nose is a part of the body that is rich in blood vessels. It is also located in a very vulnerable position and any trauma to the face can easily cause nasal bleeding and injury. The bleeding could be a minor complication or could be profuse, requiring a visit to ENT specialists. Spontaneously, nosebleeds can occur when the membranes inside the nose dry out and crack. This is a very common phenomenon in dry climates or during winters when the air is dry. People taking medications that prevent blood clotting are also more susceptible to a nosebleed, and in their cases, even a minor trauma could result in significant bleeding.
Another reason behind the high occurrence of nosebleeds during winter months is that upper respiratory infections are more common and frequent during this time. Add to it the changes from the bitter cold outside to warm and dry environs of a heated home that result in drying in the nose, which makes it susceptible to bleeding. Some of the common risk factors that predispose people to nosebleeds are:
- Allergic rhinitis
- Alcohol abuse
- Use of blood thinners
Some less common causes of nosebleed are tumors and inherited bleeding problems. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also increase the chance of nosebleeds. Most cases of nosebleeds won’t require a visit to an ENT hospital unless the bleeding is heavy and occurs frequently.
How to stop the common nosebleed?
In most cases, people who get nose bleeding can easily handle it without the need of treatment by an ENT doctor if they carefully follow the step-by-step recommendations given below:
- Slightly lean forward with your head also tilted forward. Leaning back or tilting your head back only allows the blood to flow back into sinuses and throat and can lead to gagging and inhaling the blood.
- If any blood gets collected in your mouth and throat, spit it out. It can cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea if swallowed.
- Gently blow out the blood clots from your nose. The nosebleed may slightly worse when you do so, which is normal.
- Pinch the soft parts of the nose together between your thumb and index finger.
- Compress the pinched parts of the nose firmly towards the face. Breathe through the mouth when doing this.
- Hold your nose in this position for 5 minutes. Repeat the steps until the bleeding stops completely.
- Keep your head higher than the level of your heart and sit quietly. Do not lie flat or put your head between your legs.
- Wrap some ice in a towel and apply to nose and cheeks afterward.
- Stuffing cotton in your nose is not recommended.
When do you need to go to an ENT Hospital for a Nosebleed?
- If the nosebleed can’t be stopped or keeps recurring
- If the bleeding is rapid or the blood loss is significant
- If you feel weak after the nosebleed
- If the nosebleed is caused by a trauma to the face and is associated with blurry vision or loss of consciousness
- If the nosebleed is accompanied by a fever or a headache
- If your baby has a nosebleed, visit a pediatrician
You can visit an ENT specialist if you need medicine to help with short-term congestion and minor bleeding. Most of the time, nosebleeds are something that you need not worry about, but if nosebleeds are a regular occurrence with you, i.e., you get a nosebleed four or more times in a week, then it advisable that you visit an ENT doctor to determine the cause behind the nosebleed, as it could be due to an infection or some other serious issue.