Although nosebleeds seem simple and harmless, they can be the result of underlying health conditions that may require your attention. If you experience a nosebleed once in a blue moon, chances are there is nothing seriously at risk. However, if you experience chronic nosebleeds, it is important to evaluate what could be causing it. Chronic bleeding from the nose can be the result of minor, temporary conditions, but they can also indicate serious underlying health problems. Nosebleeds are classified as either anterior (just inside your nostrils) or posterior (from the back of the nose). The majority of nosebleeds are anterior, resulting from a damaged blood vessel in the septum.
Posterior nosebleeds are more serious because the bleeding originates from branches of arteries that supply blood to the nasal cavity. They are more common in adults than in children. If the blood flow is heavy, it can be a dangerous condition that requires medical attention.
There are several at-home treatments you can do to stop a nosebleed if you don’t require medical attention. Sit upright and firmly pinch the soft part of your nose, just above your nostrils (for at least 10-15 minutes). Lean forward and breathe through your mouth, allowing the blood to drain down your nose instead of down the back of your throat. Try applying a soft ice pack (covered with a towel) to the bridge of your nose, as this can slow down the bleeding. It is important to stay upright, instead of laying down, to reduce the blood pressure in the vessels of your nose and prevent further bleeding.
There are several precautions you can take to avoid recurrent nosebleeds and the need for medical attention. Avoid blowing or picking the nose, as well as heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, lying flat, and drinking alcohol or hot beverages for 24 hours after the bleed. Try to sneeze with your mouth open to reduce the pressure in the nose. Do not remove any crusts that form inside of the nose; although they may be unpleasant, it is a helpful part of the healing process. Additionally, avoid people with coughs and colds to avoid getting sick, which can worsen the condition.
If you experience recurrent nosebleeds, we can help you get to the bottom of it. Call Vitale ENT today at (813) 406- 4400 or schedule an appointment online!