Treatment For Nosebleeds (Epistaxis)
Nosebleeds come on quickly and unexpectedly most commonly due to dryness in the air, which in turn causes rupturing and cracking the dry nasal membrane. Sinus infections and allergies can also trigger nosebleeds, as well as trauma to the nose. Sometimes it’s just a wandering young finger.
- Bloody nose draining from the nostril
- Blood draining down the back of the throat
Who is at risk?
Nosebleeds from dryness will naturally occur more often in the winter, when people are moving from frigid to heated air. If there is a history of epistaxis in the family, it is likely to show up again in young ones. Hypertension can contribute to epistaxis. Those who work around chemical fumes or smoke might be susceptible. People on blood thinners such as Coumadin may also be at higher risk for a nosebleed.
The most immediate trick is to pinch the nostrils to stop the blood flow. Reclining the head help slow the blood flow as well. Hold the nostrils pinched together for at least 10 minutes before looking to see if the bleeding has stopped. A humid environment will help ease the dryness of the sinus membranes, as well as a nasal lubricant which may be suggested by your physician. For more stubborn nosebleeds, a physician might recommend packing the nasal cavity with gauze or even performing surgical cauterization of the offending blood vessels in the nose.
Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?
If the bleeding does not slow down in a few minutes or the blood loss is abnormally large, causing weakness or dizziness, seek emergency medical care right away.
For more information on Nosebleeds, see the following websites:
eMedicine Information Overview of Epistaxis
WebMD Nosebleed First Aid
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