Stop a Nosebleed

Edited by Jenni123, Charmed, Ephraim, Eng and 6 others

Seeing a person with blood dripping from their nose can be equally scary for both the afflicted person, and to those with him/her, especially if it happens when there's no quick access to medical help. Nosebleeds can affect anyone, although some people seem more predisposed to them than others. They are also quite common in children and elderly. Apart from remaining calm during such an occurrence, it's also crucial to know how to stop a nosebleed.

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The medical term for nosebleeds is, epistaxis, which comes from the ancient Greek work epistazo. Epi means "above, upon or beside" while stazo refers to "drip from the nostril." When combined, these two words produce the Greek word to mean "to bleed from the nose." A nosebleed is also technically known as a nasal hemorrhage, which may be caused by numerous factors and can be cured using various treatments, including popular and alternative remedies.

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A cross-section view of the nasal cavity and its vascular sources gives you a better understanding of how a nosebleed occurs. The position of the nose in the middle of the human face makes it susceptible to injury. Because the nose has a complicated network of blood vessels, a slight injury to the face can cause profuse nose bleeding. Although it is usually not a call for alarm, some rare cases can be life threatening if not given immediate treatment.

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Types and Causes of Nosebleeds

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Anterior Nosebleed

This type of nosebleed is more common and easily treated. It is typically a children's malady characterized by bleeding coming from the lower nasal septum where many delicate blood vessels receiving blood from the carotid arteries are found. The carotid arteries in front of the neck principally supply blood to the head. Even the slightest knock, or dry air can trigger anterior nosebleed. Oftentimes, the root of anterior nosebleed is unknown, but some of the apparent causes are:

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  • Extreme climate change.
  • Dry air in the bedroom.
  • Nasal allergies.
  • Blowing the nose hard.
  • High altitudes.
  • Sinusitis.
  • Colds or the flu.
  • Deviated septum.
  • Picking the nose.
  • A knock to the nose.
  • Side effect of certain medications.
  • Use of illegal drugs.
  • Liver disease.
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Posterior Nosebleed

This type of nosebleed that is common among adults. Posterior nosebleeds are more serious and require medical treatment. The heavy bleeding originates further up the nose in where the artery branches supplying blood to the nose are affected. The condition is often attributed to;

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  • Calcium deficiency.
  • Nasal surgery.
  • Hypertension.
  • Chemical exposure.
  • Posterior nosebleeds are sometimes an indication of other serious health conditions such as leukaemia or tumors.

Dealing With Nosebleeds

Symptoms of a Nosebleed

The primary symptom of a nosebleed is the visible presence of blood coming out from one or both nostrils, ranging from light to heavy flow. If a nosebleed happens while you're lying flat, the liquid is felt at the back of the throat. Avoid swallowing the blood as it may cause you to vomit or become nauseous. Severe nosebleeds are oftentimes accompanied by palpitations, shortness of breath, paleness, and heavy bleeding.

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How to Stop a Nosebleed

There are many treatment options to stop a nosebleed. However, before you can even try applying one of them, there is one single step that must be taken first: stop the bleeding. The following first-aid and emergency solutions can be implemented:

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  • Stay calm by sitting down. Use the thumb and the forefinger to firmly pinch the soft parts of the nose, breathing in and out through the mouth.
  • While sitting, lean forward instead of backward. This is to prevent blood from flowing into the sinuses and throat, resulting tin gagging or inhaling blood.
  • Sit in a upright position in such a way that the head is higher than the heart. This will reduce blood pressure and effectively stop the bleeding.
  • Remain leaning forward in upright position while still putting pressure on the nose. If bleeding continues for over 20 minutes, seek medical help.
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Home Remedies for Treating a Nosebleed

  1. 1
    Vinegar
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    Wet a piece of clean cloth or cotton ball with white vinegar. Plug the nostril with the cloth or cotton ball to seal up the wall of the blood vessel.
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  2. 2
    Ice
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    Apply an ice pack to alleviate the nose and cheek area. This is also to hasten blood clotting. Do not strain yourself for several days after the nosebleed. Many people place the ice on the back of the neck, instead.
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Home Remedies for Avoiding Nosebleeds

  1. 1
    Whole-wheat Bread or Brown Rice
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    Both are high in zinc, an important nutrient for maintaining the blood vessels.
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  2. 2
    Dark-Green Leafy Vegetables
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    They are rich in vitamin K, which is required by the body for proper clotting of the blood.
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  3. 3
    Oranges and Orange Juice
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    Eating or drinking these sources of vitamin C can prevent the blood vessels from breaking easily. Vitamin C is essential to the formation of collagen to create a moist lining inside the nose.
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  4. 4
    Water
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    Keeping yourself hydrated can stave off nosebleed, especially during dry season when heat and dry air can trigger the condition.
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  5. 5
    Salt
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    Administer nasal irrigation to clean the nasal passages of blockages and to moisturize the nasal membranes.  
    1. Mix equally ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt and baking soda into 1 to 1 ½ cups lukewarm water.
    2. Using a bulb syringe, suck the solution into the syringe.
    3. Squirt the saline solution into one nostril while pinching the other nostril closed. Repeat with the other nostril.
    4. Lower the head on the sink and gently blow the water out of your nose.
    5. Repeat the procedure until water is gone.
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  6. 6
    Steam
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    Find every opportunity to inhale steam, whether it's coming from your hot tea, straining cooked pasta, or from your homemade facial steamer.  
    1. Boil ½ pot water.
    2. Pour onto a bowl or basin.
    3. Use a towel to cover your head and lean over the steaming container.
    4. BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THE BOWL OF HOT WATER AROUND CHILDREN.
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  7. 7
    Vitamin E
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    The healthy supplement will moisturize the nasal membranes.  
    1. Break open a capsule of vitamin E.
    2. Dab the pinky finger or a cotton swab with vitamin E.
    3. Gently rub it inside the nostrils.
    4. Do this before going to bed at night.
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Treatment Options for Heavy and Persistent Nosebleeds

  1. 1
    Nasal Packing
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    This involves stuffing ribbon gauze or special nasal sponges into the farthest end of the nose to put pressure on the source of bleeding.
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  2. 2
    Cautery
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    A minor procedure that cauterizes the blood vessel found to be the source of bleeding. It can be both effective and risky since the cauterized area may also begin to bleed.
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  3. 3
    Septal Surgery
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    The surgical procedure is aimed at straightening the crooked septum to reduce nosebleeds.
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  4. 4
    Embolization
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    The procedure entails the introducing a substance into the blood vessel to seal it and stop the bleeding.
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  5. 5
    Arterial Ligation
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    Considered the "last resort", ligation is a surgical procedure involving tying the ends of the blood vessels identified as the cause of bleeding.
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Tips, Tricks and Warnings

  • Apply lubricant ointment to moisturize the lining inside the nose and prevent crusting.,
  • Avoid picking the nose. If you can't avoid it, use a soft tissue or irrigate the nose first before removing the debris.
  • Be sure to cut the fingernails short whenever there's the need to reach inside the nose.
  • Treat your allergies at the onset. Allowing your allergies to worsen can result to constant sneezing and blowing of the nose. If you need to blow, do not blow too hard. Blow one nostril at a time.
  • Squeeze with the mouth open. This allows the air to pass through the mouth and not through the nose.
  • Avoid straining yourself too much after suffering from a nosebleed. This will prevent the bleeding from recurring.
  • Turn on the humidifier during dry or hot atmospheric temperature. Take a shower and take deep breaths to get moisture into the nose, or apply petroleum jelly inside the nose.
  • Take it easy during bowel movements. If you experience difficulties, take medication to soften the stool to avoid straining yourself.
  • Do not bend down with the head lower than the heart.
  • Do not smoke cigarettes. The fume irritates and dries out the lining of the nasal passages. Stay away from smoky areas.
  • If the bleeding persists for more than 20 minutes, or is caused by an injury, consult a doctor immediately.
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Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: Rebecca M., Graeme, Vanessa Alexandra Avisado

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