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Nosebleeds

Signs &

Symptoms

Causes

Treatment

Questions
to Ask

Self-Care /

Prevention

Image of boy with a nosebleed.

•  Bleeding from a nostril.

•  Bleeding from the nose and down the back of the throat.

Nosebleeds are often caused by broken blood vessels just inside the nose. Risk factors include:

•  A cold or allergies.

•  A dry environment.

•  Frequent nose blowing and picking.

•  Using too much nasal spray.

•  A punch or other blow to the nose.

A nosebleed is serious when heavy bleeding from deep within the nose is hard to stop. This type occurs most often in the elderly. It can be caused by: Hardening of nasal blood vessels; high blood pressure; and medicines that treat blood clots.

Image of women blowing nose.
Image of doctor helping patient with a nosebleed.

Self-care treats most nosebleeds. A doctor can pack the nostril to stop the bleeding or do a treatment that seals the blood vessel that bleeds.

Image of man pinching nostrils to stop nose bleed.

•  Sit with your head leaning forward. Pinch the nostrils shut. Use your thumb and forefinger to gently squeeze the nose’s midsection.

•  Hold for up to 20 minutes without stopping. Use a clock to time this. Breathe through your mouth while you do this. Repeat a second time, if needed. If a second attempt fails, go to an urgent care center or hospital emergency department. Don’t take aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

•  For the next 24 hours, elevate your head above the level of your heart. Also, try not to blow your nose, lift heavy objects, or exercise hard.

•  Use a humidifier or cool-mist vaporizer to add moisture to household air.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.

 

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