Nosebleeds are really common this time of year. The air is dry and your nose starts to dry out as a result. They seem to be especially common among little kids because they’re always picking their noses. Believe it or not, occasionally I get 911 calls for people with a nosebleed. So let’s talk about what’s happening and how to stop them.
What causes nosebleeds?
Your nose is highly vascular. That means that there’s a lot of blood vessels within your nose and they’re very close to the surface of your skin. It doesn’t take much for them to start bleeding. Some cold weather cracking your skin, a punch to the nose, or excavating a burger with your finger will all easily create nosebleeds.
- Pinch your nose. Right under the bony bridge of your nose, pinch and hold for 10 minutes. If you’re on blood thinners, it may take longer for the bleeding to stop.
- Lean forward. Slightly lean your head forward. This allows the blood to pool up and begin clotting.
- Use some ointment. After the bleeding has stopped, you can put some vaseline or other topical ointment inside each nostril to help moisten and heal the area.
What NOT to do:
- Don’t tilt your head back. This does not allow the blood to pool and clot. It also causes the blood to drain into your stomach which can make you very sick and cause vomiting.
- Don’t blow your nose. All that blood in your nose will make you feel very congested, but you must resist the urge to blow your nose. Blowing your nose will blow out all the blood clots that have formed so far. Only after several hours after the bleeding has stopped can you gently blow your nose.
- Don’t stuff your nose. It may be convenient to stuff some tissue in each nostril and let it be, but you’re not doing yourself a favor in the long run. The real remedy is putting pressure by pinching your nose. Plus, when you go to pull out the tissue, you inadvertently pull out the clots as well.
Tell us about your experiences with nosebleeds. What’s the longest you’ve had one last? Any home remedies you care to share?