Nosebleeds: Causes, Cures and Prevention

By JustMommies staff

In a perfect world, our noses simply help us to breathe and filter out what doesn't belong. In the imperfect world we live in, nosebleeds, unfortunately, are a relatively common occurrence. A basic definition of a nosebleed is a hemorrhage that comes from the nose.

The most common type of nosebleed is referred to as an anterior nosebleed, which originates in the front of the nose. Posterior nosebleeds, which are much less common, originate from the larger blood vessels in the back of the nose and often require medical attention. In severe nosebleeds, the blood from the hemorrhage can actually travel up the nasolacrimal duct and expel from the eye. Blood from a nosebleed can also make its way down the throat and into the stomach, which can cause nausea and vomiting.

As gruesome as this all might sound, nosebleeds don't often require medical attention. However, this is likely of little consolation to you if you suffer from recurring nosebleeds. For anyone who experiences recurring nosebleeds, a variety of causes should be explored so that a suitable treatment plan can be established. Ultimately, recurring nosebleeds should be curable.

In order to more thoroughly understand your recurring nosebleeds, consider the most common causes of a nosebleed and identify any factors that might apply to you or your environment:

Nosebleed Causes

  • Allergies, especially frequent blowing of the nose or sneezing

  • Nasal trauma, like a broken bone in the nose

  • The use of blood-thinning medications

  • Topical medications that can irritate the nasal passage, like over-the-counter nasal sprays

  • Any upper respiratory infection that affects the sinuses or the nose

  • Septum abnormalities, most commonly a deviated septum

  • Changes in air pressure

  • Dry air

  • High blood pressure

  • Kidney disease

  • Liver disease

  • Drug use via nasal snorting

  • Hormonal changes that frequently occur during pregnancy

At-Home Nosebleed Treatment

  1. Use your index finger and thumb to pinch your nostrils together

  2. Press the nose toward the bones of the face

  3. Lean forward just slightly to avoid inhaling or swallowing the blood

  4. Hold your nose in this position for several minutes

  5. Be sure to keep your head at a more elevated level than your heart while holding this position

  6. Wrap ice in a towel and apply it to your face and nose.

Potential Cures for Nosebleeds

  • Moistened air, especially via an air humidifier

  • Proper hydration, especially during dry winters

  • A cold-mist vaporizer

  • Coating the interior of the nose with petroleum jelly

  • The avoidance of any kind of forceful blowing of the nose when possible

  • Lower dosages of blood-thinning medications if possible

  • Avoidance of smoking