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Managing a Nosebleed



If your nosebleed is severe, you may need to go to the hospital’s Emergency Room to be treated.  After you leave the emergency room, these instructions may help you prevent another episode of bleeding.

  1. Keep the inside of your nose as moist as possible. Dryness leads to nose bleeding.
    • Spray your nose several times daily with plenty of salt water nose spray (such as Ocean Spray, Ayr, or NaSal).  There is also an Are Saline Nasal Gel which is even better for keeping the inside of your nose moist.
    • Run a vaporizer or humidifier in your home all day and all night. It does not matter if it s a “cool mist” or “steam” vaporizer, as long as it gets plenty of water vapor into the air to moisturize the inside of your nose.  (A “cool-mist” is safer, however, if there are small children in the hoe as hot water may spill from a steam vaporizer).
  2. Avoid all kind of strenuous activities for 2 weeks. Anything that raises your blood pressure or makes your heart beat faster could make your nose bleed again.
  3. Don’t bend over or lift anything heavy for at least 2 weeks. Lifting increases the blood pressure to the head and so affects the nose.
  4. Take NO blood-thinning medications (i.e.: aspirin, bufferin, BC, Ibuprofen, Motrin, etc) for at least 2 weeks.  Tylenol is OK.  (Make sure to discuss this with your primary care physician).
  5. In the case of a slight nosebleed, try pinching the top of your nose firmly between your thumb and finger and hold it for about 10 minutes. Pinch at the soft lower part near the tip of the nose, not the hard bony part near the top.
  6. While pinching your nose as stated above, it is also helpful to gargle with ice water at the same time. Gargle and spit a lot of very cold ice water to get the inside of your mouth and the back of your throat very cold and wet. This causes blood vessels in the nose to shrink, which may stop bleeding.
  7. Return to the emergency room should bleeding become severe or persistent.