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Posted December 06, 2021 by Gary Huang, M.D.
Nosebleeds are very common and can strike at any time. While they can look scary with blood trickling out your nose, the good news is nosebleeds are rarely serious.
But you may be wondering, what is causing this messy nuisance?
There are many reasons why you could be getting nosebleeds. The most common cause is dry air. During the winter months, dry household heat and cold, dry air outside can irritate nasal membranes and trigger nosebleeds.
Other reasons for nosebleeds can include:
Most nosebleeds occur in the front of the nose, closest to the nostril openings, called anterior nosebleeds. Capillaries, or small blood vessels close to the skin’s surface just inside the nose, can break and bleed.
Posterior nosebleeds, which occur in the deepest part of the nose, are much less common and typically affect older adults. People with high blood pressure or who experienced trauma to the nose also can have a posterior nosebleed.
Ways to stop a nosebleed
Most nosebleeds do not require medical attention and can be treated at home. The next time you get a nosebleed, follow these tips to ease the flow:
Once the bleeding has stopped, avoid blowing your nose for 24 hours. Also, don’t lift heavy objects or do any activities that will cause strain to help the nosebleed from starting again.
If the bleeding lasts for more than 20 minutes, is a very heavy flow or if it follows a fall or other injury to your nose, seek medical attention.
Also, be sure to contact your healthcare provider if you’re getting more than three or four nosebleeds in a week to rule out other causes.
How to prevent a nosebleed
Nosebleeds can’t always be prevented, but you can help lower your chances of getting them by:
So the next time a nosebleed pops up, there’s no need to panic. You now know what to do.