Causes and treatments for common nosebleeds
Ever wake up in the middle of the night to find that your nose is bleeding? If so, you are like 60 percent of Americans who have experienced at least one nosebleed in their lifetime. Although it can seem scary, nosebleeds are typically not dangerous.
Most nosebleeds can be resolved easily. Some may require additional treatment, including examination by a healthcare professional. Here’s some of the most common causes—and important information for treating a nosebleed.
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What is the cause of a common nosebleed?
The inside of your nose is full of tiny blood vessels. Since the vessels are close to the surface, they are susceptible to drying out and cracking. This is why nosebleeds occur more often during the winter season, when the heat is cranked up and the air is dry.
Who is most likely to get a nosebleed?
Nosebleeds are most common in children who are 3 to 10 years old. It’s common for children in this age group to pick their noses, which causes micro-trauma inside the nose. In addition, children are very active, which makes them more likely to have an injury to the nose.
Additional reasons for nosebleeds include:
How are common nosebleeds treated?
- Apply pressure to both sides of the nose for a minimum of five minutes
- Tilt the head slightly forward so that blood does not run down the throat
- Apply an ice pack to the nose and cheeks to reduce swelling
- After the bleed stops, limit activity to prevent re-bleeding
How are nosebleeds prevented?
The best prevention for the common nosebleed is to keep the inside of the nose moist. This can be achieved by using a cool mist humidifier in the home, and by using saline nose drops or other doctor-approved ointment. Avoid aggressive nose-blowing and remind children not to pick their noses.
When is medical advice necessary?
If you have followed the above steps and a nosebleed is still lasting longer than 20 minutes, it’s time to call your physician or an ARJ nurse. Always call right away if the nose is bleeding rapidly, if the amount of blood loss seems large, or if nosebleeds are a frequent problem.
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