A nosebleed (also called epistaxis) can affect both nostrils, however, most frequently occurs in only one nostril. Most cases are minor and can be managed from home.
Most nosebleeds occur within the lower end of the nose in the lower septum. Another kind of nosebleed is a posterior nosebleed, that comes from the deepest part of the nose.
Nosebleeds are most common in adults between 50 and 80 years old and kids between 2 and 10 years old.
Dry air is the most common cause of epistaxis since dryness causes crusting inside the nose. Crusting may become irritated or itch, and, if your nose is picked or scratched, it can bleed.
Using a central heating system and living in a dry climate can dry out the nasal membranes, that are tissues inside your nose.
Other common causes of nosebleeds include:
- a foreign object stuck in the nose;
- taking decongestants and antihistamines for colds, allergies, or sinus problems;
- frequent nose blowing;
- a sinus infection;
- large doses of aspirin;
- facial and nasal surgery;
- a cold;
- upper respiratory infection;
- nasal tumors, non-cancerous and cancerous;
- deviated septum, an abnormal shape of the structure which separates the two sides of the nose;
- picking your nose or rubbing it too hard;
- cold air;
- blood clotting disorders;
- medical conditions which may cause low platelets;
- chemical irritants (e.g., industrial chemicals, cocaine, others);
- repeated sneezing;
- high blood pressure;
- disease of the arteries like atherosclerosis;
- Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome.
The following risk factors predispose people to nosebleeds:
- hormonal changes during pregnancy;
- inherited bleeding problems;
- alcohol abuse;
- use of blood thinning medications;
- high blood pressure;
- allergic and non-allergic rhinitis;
- self-induced by nose picking.
See A Doctor If
- you have a condition which means your blood can’t clot properly;
- the blood goes down the back of your throat;
- a child under 2 years old has a nosebleed;
- the bleeding was caused by an injury;
- you’re taking a blood-thinning medicine;
- you have symptoms of anemia;
- the blood loss is large;
- you have more than one nosebleed a week;
- you cannot stop the bleeding after more than 20 minutes of applying direct pressure.
First Aid Management For Nosebleeds
You can treat most nosebleeds by yourself at home by doing the following:
#1 Sit upright. By remaining upright, you reduce blood pressure in the veins of the nose. This discourages further bleeding.
#2 Lean a little bit forward. This keeps the blood from draining down the back of the throat.
#3 Firmly pinch the soft part of the nose, just above your nostrils, for about 10 minutes.
#4 Place an ice pack covered by a towel on the bridge of the nose.
When the bleeding stops, do not jump up and down and do not pick or blow your nose for at least 15 minutes since it may reactivate your nose bleed.
If bleeding starts again, use a nasal decongestant spray to constrict the blood vessels of your nose, and again apply direct pressure for 10 minutes to stop the bleeding.
Chronic nosebleeds may need to be stopped with the application of a topical medicine called thrombin or a heating instrument.
Spiritual Meaning of Nosebleeds
If you experience nosebleeds, it means that you let the love and joy for life outside of your body, outside of your being. It also indicates that you are losing the joy towards your feelings. In addition, there is great deception in your life. You live under the impression that you have lost the joy of living.
Moreover, you have the feeling that you are not truly appreciated, accepted, or loved. You are playing the victim and tend to keep a distance from others.
If the nosebleed happens to a child, it means that it is difficult for him to position himself towards a person who represents the authority. Furthermore, the child always seeks the approval of that person.
You can’t always prevent nosebleeds from happening, however, there are certain things you can do to help lower your chances of getting them, such as:
Smoking dries out the nose and irritates it.
Don’t Use Allergy & Cold Medications Too Often
In some cases, certain medications can cause nosebleeds. You may need to discuss your medications with your healthcare provider.
Use a saline nasal spray two times per day in each nostril.
Use A Humidifier
Dryness can cause nosebleeds. Run a humidifier and add a humidifier to your furnace in your bedroom at night.
Don’t Pick Your Nose
If your child is getting epistaxis, discourage him from picking his nose and keep his fingernails short.
Other prevention methods include:
- avoid putting anything solid into your nose;
- sneeze through an open mouth;
- avoid blowing your nose too forcefully.