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To put it simply, a nosebleed is bleeding from the blood vessels in the nose. Nosebleeds are often not a sign of anything serious and are actually very common due to the amount of blood vessels in the nose. Most often, nosebleeds can be treated at home! If the bleeding fails to stop, however, it’s so important to visit a doctor. Also, if you’re suffering from constant nosebleeds, then visiting a specialist such as Jonathan Hughes can be extremely beneficial to find out why your nosebleeds are so frequent.

What causes nosebleeds?

Your nose is rich in blood vessels, meaning that there is constantly quite a lot of blood in your nose at any given time. Also, the location of your nose being in the middle of the face and protruding outwards, leaves it extremely vulnerable to trauma. If any harm is caused to the face, it’s extremely likely that the nose will take some damage in this. This can cause nasal injury and bleeding. This bleeding can be incredibly profuse, or a minor complication that will soon stop.

Another cause for nosebleeds is when your nasal membranes dry out and crack in cold, or dry climates. During winter months, the air is much dry and warm thanks to household heating. This can cause your nasal membranes to dry out, crack and bleed. Again, causing a nosebleed. The likelihood of nosebleeds is much higher during the cold, winter months when respiratory infections are more frequent. Also, the temperature and humidity around you changes frequently as you go from warm, heated houses to the cold air outside. The change in temperature can cause drying and changes within the nose, making it more vulnerable to bleeding.

Some people are much more susceptible to nosebleeds if they take certain medications that prevent normal blood clotting. For example, Plavix or Aspirin. In this situation, even a minor trauma could result in significant bleeding. Also, those who abuse alcohol and pregnant women are predisposed to nosebleeds.

How do I stop a nosebleed?

Many people can stop a common, unprovoked nosebleed at home without the need for medical intervention. If your nosebleeds are extremely aggressive or frequent, then is the time to involve a medical professional. When faced with a nosebleed, the most important thing is to NOT tilt your head back. Many people believe that the correct procedure once your nose starts bleeding is to immediately elevate your head backwards, but this is incorrect. Tilting your head backwards lets the blood run back into your sinuses and throat – this can cause gagging or an inhaling of the blood.

Secondly, do not swallow any blood that has collected in your throat or mouth. This is very important, as any swallowed blood can cause diarrhea or vomiting.

Thirdly, you are to hold the soft parts of your nose together and press it firmly towards your face. You’ll breathe through your mouth whilst doing this for around 5 minutes. It’s very important that you do not lie flat or put your heat between your legs. Finally, applying ice wrapped in a towel to your nose and cheeks after is recommended.

How do I prevent another nosebleed?

After suffering from a nosebleed, it’s important to rest with your head elevated at 30-45 degrees and if you need to sneeze after, open your mouth so that the air will exit through your mouth and not your nose. It’s also imperative that you don’t smoke, eat a diet of soft, cold foods and do not consume hot liquids for 24 after your nosebleed.

If you or someone you know is suffering from chronic or aggressive nosebleeds, you can contact Jonathan Hughes on 020 3423 7642 or secretary.jonathanhughes@med-services.co.uk.