How To Treat A Nosebleed

Most of us have had a nosebleed at one time or another, especially during the rambunctious years of childhood.  While they can be fairly worrying to someone who has them infrequently, they are seldom anything to really be concerned with.  However, nosebleeds are still unpleasant and undesirable.

How can I stop a nosebleed?

  • The most well-known treatment for a nosebleed has always been to lean your head back, but while this may keep the blood from coming out of your nose, it just means that it’s flowing back down your throat or windpipe, causing nausea, coughing, or other unpleasant and unhealthy symptoms.  Definitely avoid perpetuating this treatment myth, or carrying it out yourself.  Likewise laying on your back is not advisable.  Instead you can sit up straight, slightly tilting your head forward to keep blood from running down your throat.
  • By gently blowing your nose you can help get rid of any blood clots that may be preventing your broken blood vessels from sealing fully.
  • Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch the soft portion of your nose (the nostrils) together for five to ten minutes or so, which will keep blood from flowing out, letting the blood vessels seal.  Breath through your mouth and using a napkin to seal your nose with the pinch will help the process.  If this doesn’t work, repeat the process for ten to fifteen minutes.  If it still has not worked, you may need to seek medical attention.
  • Holding a cold water soaked cloth on your nose will constrict the blood vessels and help minimize blood flow out, and help your body seal the breach.  Ice in a wrapped cloth will also work, and is fairly ideal for situations where the nosebleed has been caused by an impact to the nose.

When should I see a doctor about a nose bleed?

  • When you have spent time applying pressure to your nose as suggested above, but the bleeding has not stopped.
  • Your nose bleed happened after receiving a blow to the head (but not the nose specifically).
  • Your nose bleed is not a trickle, but a severe gushing of blood from the nose.
  • When after pinching your nostrils shut you can actually feel the blood running down your throat.
  • You suffer from frequent nosebleeds and have not talked to a physician about them before.
  • Your nose bleed happened due to a blow to the nose, and you now cannot breath through one or both of your nostrils.  This may mean that the nose is broken, ice should be held against the nose and you should head to a doctor’s office or a hospital.
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