Do you know how to stop a nosebleed fast? If not, don’t worry – we’re here to help! A nosebleed can be a scary experience, but it’s usually nothing to worry about. This blog post will discuss 18 easy steps that will help stop a nosebleed in its tracks!
- Nosebleeding: 4 Things you shouldn’t do
- Stopping a nosebleed: 5 Steps
- What to do after a Nosebleed: 4 Reminders
- Preventing nosebleeds: 5 Tips
- Is it serious? When to See a Doctor
The nose has a lot of small blood vessels inside it that can bleed if a person’s nose gets dried out, if they engage in frequent picking or blowing, or if they take a hit to the nose. A single nosebleed isn’t usually a cause for concern. If you or your child has a nosebleed after an accident, seek medical care as soon as possible. Here are some methods to stop a nosebleed and some suggestions for avoiding it.
Nosebleeding: 4 Things you shouldn’t do
First things first: There are some things you shouldn’t do, even though they may seem like good ideas. You may even have been told that they’re the right way to treat a nosebleed! Here are some actions to avoid:
Don’t tip your head back. Some grandparents may tell you to do so, but doctors advise you to avoid it. When you tip your head back, the blood flows to the back of your nose, down to your throat. This may cause you to choke or reach your stomach, and that may cause some discomfort.
Don’t stuff your nose. Logic would let you think that putting pressure on the nose by compressing the bleeding point with tissue or napkin is correct, but these may irritate the nose’s sensitive surface. This may then aggravate the bleeding once the stuffing is removed.
Don’t keep checking on it. When you’ve applied pressure to a bleeding blood vessel, just keep applying that pressure. Don’t check in every other minute to see if it’s stopped. If you put and take out pressure on the bleeding, it will take longer to stop.
Don’t blow your nose. If you have a nosebleed, don’t blow your nose! Blowing your nose can actually make the bleeding worse. Wait for at least 24 hours before gently blowing your nose.
Stopping a nosebleed: 5 Steps
Most nosebleeds occur when a blood vessel in the nose’s soft cartilage leaks. These are called anterior nosebleeds. Posterior nosebleeds come from blood vessels higher up in the nose. It makes sense to treat every nosebleed as an anterior one and try to stop it at home.
Want to know how to stop nose bleeding fast? Try these quick and easy steps to minimize the bleeding until it stops naturally.
Sit upright and lean forward.
It’s tempting to lean back when you have a nosebleed to keep the blood from dripping down your face. However, leaning slightly forward is the better choice. This prevents the blood from going down your throat, which could lead to choking or vomiting. Focus on breathing through your mouth instead of your nose and remain calm.
Decongestant sprays, such as Afrin, may contain medications that tighten blood vessels in the nose. This not only can relieve inflammation and congestion, but it can also slow or stop bleeding. Applying three sprays to your affected nostril can help.
Pinch or put pressure on your nose
Pinching the soft, fleshy part of your nasal septum below the nasal bones for about 10 minutes can help compress blood vessels and stop bleeding. Don’t let up on the pressure for these 10 minutes — otherwise, the bleeding could re-start, and you’ll have to start over.
Use an ice pack
If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 15 minutes, apply an ice pack or cold compress to the bridge of your nose, which can constrict the blood vessels and help bring the blood flow to a stop. Applying a cloth-covered ice pack to your nose can help tighten blood vessels. It can also relieve inflammation if you’ve experienced an injury. Don’t leave the ice pack on for more than 10 minutes at a time to avoid injuring your skin.
The more you panic, the higher blood pressure peaks, and the longer it could take for the bleeding to stop — and the same is true if you’re a parent dealing with a child’s nosebleed. If you seem chill, little ones are more likely to follow suit.
What to do after a Nosebleed: 4 Reminders
Stop picking your nose. Frequent nose picking is one of the primary causes of nosebleeds. Picking agitates healing scabs and can damage blood vessels. Plus, if your nails are dirty, your open wound inside the nose may get infected.
Blow your nose gently. When it’s safe for you to blow your nose, do it gently so as not to dislodge the scab formation on top of the ruptured blood vessels.
Observe. After 10 minutes, let go of your nose. If it stopped bleeding, good! If bleeding continues, soak a cotton ball with the nasal spray. Place the cotton ball into the bleeding nostril and pinch for 10 minutes. Again, use a clock to time it.
Check your blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause headache and your nose to bleed. If you have hypertension, take your medication and constantly monitor your bleeding and blood pressure.
Avoid exertion. Do not bend down and lift heavy loads for the first few days to stimulate bleeding.
Preventing nosebleeds: 5 Tips
Most people will experience a nosebleed or two in their lives. For the most part, they happen spontaneously and are nothing to worry about — though certain people are at higher risk for more frequent or more severe bleeding, especially those who live in cold climates with dry winter air.
Keep your nose moist.
Dried-out mucus membranes from inhaling dry air or other causes can further irritate the nose and lead to nosebleeds. Keeping the membranes moist with a saline spray can help. You can use this spray about every two to three hours while you’re awake. If you don’t like sprays, you can also try nasal gels, or even petroleum jelly applied gently to the nostril.
Long and sharp fingernails can be enemy number one to someone who’s had a nosebleed. Sometimes, you may pick your nose without really thinking about it, such as at night while you’re sleeping. If your fingernails are excessively long or sharp, you’re more likely to have a nosebleed.
Use a humidifier
Humidifiers add moisture to the air, helping to keep the mucus membranes from drying out. You can use one while sleeping to prevent nosebleeds. Just be sure to clean the humidifier according to the manufacturer’s instructions, as the moisture and heat in the machine can attract bacteria and mold.
Smoking can irritate the inside of your nose and dry it out.
Limit taking cold or allergy medications.
These can dry out your nose. In some cases, certain medications can cause nosebleeds or make them worse. You may need to discuss your medications with your doctor. But keep taking them unless your doctor tells you to stop.
Is it serious? When to See a Doctor
Many of us do not consider nosebleeding as a medical emergency. However, if it frequently happens, like one or two in a week, and lasts longer than 20 minutes or so, then it’s time to have a consultation. Your primary care physician will recommend seeing an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist.
A doctor will examine your nose and nasal passages to look for unusual bleeding sources. Small nasal polyps, a foreign body, or excessively large blood vessels might all be causes of this.
Doctors can use a variety of approaches to treat recurrent nosebleeds. These include:
- Cautery. This approach aims to stop bleeding in blood vessels by sealing them with heat or chemicals.
- Medications. A nosebleed can be treated by a doctor using an antibiotic ointment or medication-soaked cotton or cloths to pack the nose. These medicines are used to stop bleeding and promote blood clotting, reducing the likelihood of nosebleeds.
- Trauma correction. When your nose is broken, or you have a foreign object in it, a doctor will usually remove the item or correct the fracture if possible.
Your doctor may also review your current medications to determine if there are any medications, supplements, or herbs that may be contributing to easier bleeding. Don’t stop taking any medication unless your doctor tells you.
Nosebleeds can be a nuisance, but they aren’t usually a threat to your health. If you follow preventive tips and careful treatment, chances are you can get the bleeding to stop fairly quickly. If you keep having trouble with nosebleeds, talk to your doctor.