Some people experience nosebleeds after an injury and others suffer from chronic nosebleeds. While a bloody nose can be treated at home, there are times when it is best to seek help from a medical professional. But when do you do so? We will discuss that, and more on the topic of nosebleeds, below.
What Types of Nosebleeds Are There?
Many patients aren’t aware that not all nosebleeds are created equal. There are two basic types of nosebleeds to be aware of, and one is thought of as more serious than the other.
Anterior nosebleeds begin towards the front of the nose — towards the bottom of the septum. Blood vessels and capillaries in this nasal region are more sensitive than other blood vessels, meaning it takes less for them to break and cause bleeding. Anterior nosebleeds are the most common type, and can typically be treated without help from a doctor.
The second kind of nosebleed to know about is called a posterior nosebleed. These happen deeper within the nose and are seen most frequently in adults. Posterior nosebleeds are caused by bleeding from larger blood vessels that are closer to the throat. This is considered by medical professionals to be more serious, as there is generally a higher blood flow, and blood can travel down to the throat. If you believe you have a posterior nosebleed, you should visit an urgent care center immediately.
Why Do Nosebleeds Happen?
There are plenty of reasons why you could have a nosebleed. Many of the reasons are unpredictable, and many of them are not serious. Dry air is the most common cause of nosebleeds! Hot air lacking humidity is known to be dry. Heated indoor air is also notoriously dry. When air lacks moisture, fragile nose tissue quickly dries out — becoming cracked and painful. When this dry skin is touched, it tends to bleed.
Other reasons why you could be experiencing a nosebleed include:
- Furious nose-blowing
- Pharmaceutical drugs that thin your blood, such as Aspirin, Warfarin, and more
- Other drugs, such as cocaine
- Injury to your nose
- Nose picking
- Objects being put into your nose
- High altitudes
- Colds and sinus infections
- And more
Alcohol use, nasal tumors, leukemia, high blood pressure, and more can also cause nosebleeds. That being said, these causes are seen far less frequently.
How Can I Treat a Nosebleed At Home?
To stop a nosebleed at home, there are a few steps that should be followed. Firstly, you should sit up and tilt your body and head forward a bit. This is to prevent blood from dripping into your throat, which can result in nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. It is important that you refrain from laying down or leaning too far forward. Ensure that you are breathing through your mouth, as opposed to your nose.
Retrieve either a tissue or a damp cloth in order to prevent blood from dripping everywhere. After that, you should take your thumb and pointer finger and use them to pinch your nose. Pinch the softer area of your nose towards the bottom of the bridge, but above the tip of your nose. Pinching a more bony area of your nose will not prevent bleeding. Do this for up to ten minutes, or until your nose ceases bleeding. An ice pack can assist in slowing down the bleeding and making the area feel more comfortable. Once the bleeding has completely stopped, you should avoid heavy lifting or leaning forward.
When Should You Visit An Urgent Care Clinic For a Nosebleed?
If you have tried the above and the process doesn’t go smoothly, you may need to visit an urgent care center to speak to a doctor. Have someone transport you to an urgent care if bleeding doesn’t slow after about 20 minutes. A lot of blood can also be a cause for concern. If you have vomited or find that you are struggling to breathe at all, seek immediate medical attention. If your nosebleed is the result of an injury to the head, it is safe to visit a doctor to check for a concussion and to be sure that all is well with your nose. The doctor that you see will be very familiar with these types of injuries as, according to Hcup-us.ahrq.gov, nearly 20% of all 2017 ER visits in the US involved an injury.
For more information on nosebleeds, speak to a doctor from Care Station Medical Group. Our medical professionals are well-versed in treating nosebleeds and can answer any and all questions that you have.