A nosebleed occurs when the blood vessels lining a person’s nose get injured. Epistaxis is the medical term defining a nosebleed. The location -and the high vasculature of the nose make nosebleeds common. Most nosebleeds occur when there is digital trauma or irritation to the mucous membranes. Individuals with hypertension, atherosclerosis, or taking blood-thinning medications like anticoagulants, aspirin, and anti-inflammatories are highly vulnerable to epistaxis.
Other reasons for prompt nose bleeding include nose-picking, allergies, excessive sleeping, placing foreign objects in the nose, and nose blowing. Epistaxis mostly affects children because of their aggressive way of playing. Mostly, single epistaxis should not be a huge concern, but it is prolonged, one should seek medical attention from experts such as a specialist for frequent nosebleeds in Los Angeles physicians. Here are thirteen tips for preventing and stopping an acute or chronic nosebleed alone or with the help of a head and neck doctor in the L.A. area.
It would be best if you avoided leaning backward and preferably lean forward while sitting to help blood exit your nose without causing a mess. Your head should be placed high above the heart level. Leaning forward prevents blood from flowing into your throat and stomach that can lead to vomiting or choking. You should remain calm and breathe through the mouth rather than your nose.
Do not pack your nostrils.
Some people try to stop nosebleeds by packing their nose with a tissue, tampons, or cotton pads. Although medical professionals might use medication-soaked clothes to stop the bleeding, you should damp washcloth to wipe off blood exiting your nose. Sticking tampons or cotton pads inside the nose can irritate the blood vessels worsening the bleeding. Furthermore, self-packing does not offer enough pressure on the site of injury to stop a nosebleed.
Use a spray decongestant.
You get spray decongestants from a doctor to tighten the vessels found in your nose. Decongestants alleviate congestion, inflammation, and slow down nose bleeding. Therefore, applying the medication at least thrice on the affected nostril will help stop nose bleeding.
Pinch the fleshy bit of your nose and watch the clock.
You should pinch the fleshy and soft part of your nose for at least ten minutes to compress and apply enough pressure in the ruptured vessels to stop bleeding. Furthermore, you should apply pressure consistently for the ten minutes to avoid bleeding from re-starting. If bleeding continues after the first ten minutes of pinching, repeat the steps for another ten minutes with or without cloth with a nasal decongestant.
If the nose bleed persists beyond thirty minutes or you are bleeding profusely, consider contacting Westside Head & Neck for emergency treatment.
After the bleeding subsides, you should avoid picking the nose frequently because it can irritate the membranes and trigger another bleeding event. Additionally, nose-picking removes the clot and damages the nasal membranes, increasing the likelihood of a nosebleed occurrence.
Avoid nose blowing.
Although it might be tempting to blow one’s nose after a nosebleed to remove the dried remnants, physicians urge you to resist it. Nose blowing within the first 24 hours after epistaxis increases the risk of developing another one. If you wish to start blowing your nose again, do it a gentle manner to avoid injuring the nasal membranes and initiate another bleed.
Avoid strainful activities that involve bending.
Nosebleeds can be triggered by merely bending down, carrying heavy objects, and other strenuous physical activities. Therefore, you should avoid engaging in such activities after a nosebleed for at least 48 hours. Instead, engage in light activities until your nose heals appropriately to avoid another epistaxis event.
You can place an ice pack covered with a cloth on your nose to help constrict the blood vessels. Apart from slowing down bleeding through tightening the vessels, ice alleviates inflammation around the region of injury. Avoid placing ice directly on your skin because it can damage it. Additionally, you should use the ice for less than ten minutes to avoid injuring the nose skin cells.
Sharp and long fingernails damage nose membranes when poked inside the nose triggering a nosebleed. Sometimes, people pick their nose without knowing, such as while sleeping, causing an injury. If you have excessively sharp or long fingernails, consider trimming them to reduce the likelihood of epistaxis.
Utilize a humidifier.
Since nosebleeds can occur from extremely hot or cold air irritating the nose membranes, you can fit humidifiers in your home to improve moisture levels in the air you breathe. You can turn on a humidifier at night when you go to bed to prevent night nose-bleeds from occurring. However, you should ensure that the machine is cleaned as per its manufacturer’s instructions because moisture and heat promote the proliferation of mold and bacteria, which are health hazards.
Most athletes engaged in sports such as kickboxing, basketball, and rugby experience nosebleed and are advised to consider gowning protective equipment. Some individuals wear transparent masks to help absorb potential blows to the face, minimizing the risk of nasal injuries and nosebleeds. You should provide children with protective equipment when playing, such as helmets, to avoid injuring their nose and getting epistaxis.
Keep nose membranes moist.
When the mucus membrane becomes dry due to inhalation of dry air, the nose is irritated, leading to a nosebleed. You can keep nasal membranes moist by using a saline spray every three hours after waking up. Other alternatives include petroleum jelly or nasal gels administered gently on the affected nostril. Our ENT doctor in Los Angeles can direct you on other available alternatives to keep your nostrils moist.
When to visit a physician.
If you experience a chronic nosebleed, you can reduce nose bleeding by using home remedies under the direction of a doctor such as nasal neo-synephrine and calcium alginate. Other physicians offer cauterization, packing, silver nitrate, and intravenous and topical hemostatic products. Cauterization is a procedure where a physician uses specialized equipment, which applies heat to the affected blood vessels sealing them.
A physician can use a special gauze that applies enough pressure on the membranes to stop bleeding. Alternatively, a physician can stop a chronic nosebleed via the administration of silver nitrate. Topical hemostatic and intravenous medications such as tranexamic and aminocaproic acids minimize excessive bleeding, especially for individuals with underlying bleeding disorders.