Medically Reviewed by Dr. David Costa Navarro
What is that
Loss of nosebleeds (nosebleeds) following the rupture of one of the small blood vessels in the nasal septum is a fairly frequent occurrence. The causes are very often trivial: a small trauma, such as that caused by blowing the nose too vigorously or due to the habit, common in children, of putting fingers in the nose; an infection such as a cold or sinusitis; excessive exposure to the sun, which excessively dries the inside of the nose.
What are the risks
Only when the blood loss is high or is repeated frequently, is the risk represented by anemia.
What should be done
- The person should be reassured and seated with his torso and head bowed forward to avoid ingestion of blood. To try to control the bleeding, compress the nostril from which the blood comes out for 5-10 minutes.
- It can be useful to free the neck, unbuttoning the shirt and removing any scarves, ties or scarves.
- If the simple pressure of the nostril does not block the loss of blood, apply pressure with the fingers on the wings of the nose for at least 5 – 10 minutes, applying a little ice or a cotton handkerchief wet with very cold water at the root of the nose (the area between the eyes).
- If bleeding does not stop even with these further maneuvers it is necessary to contact a doctor. Do not introduce gauze or pieces of cotton in the nose which by binding to the clots could cause new bleeding following their removal.
- In the following days, apply a small amount of white vaseline inside the nostrils, in order to prevent the mucosa from becoming too dry, fragile and irritated.
- In case of fairly frequent episodes it can be useful to humidify the environment in which you live more, as well as it can be useful to sleep with the head more raised than usual to decrease the blood pressure on the blood vessels of the forehead and reduce the dryness of the nasal mucosa through the frequent application of sterile saline solutions.
What should not be done
- Do not fold your head back or raise your arms to the sky, as is often suggested by people who are not too knowledgeable.
- It is good to avoid exposure to heat and sun for a few days, especially if bleeding has been induced by these factors.
- Do not use aspirin-containing drugs in the days immediately following, as aspirin can promote nose bleeding. Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to advise you, in case of need, of other pain and fever medications which, unlike aspirin, do not interfere with blood clotting.
- Avoid too intense efforts in the following days, but if you feel well you can resume normal activity.
When to seek medical attention
- Quickly contact a doctor (usually the emergency room) if you are unable to control the bleeding with the measures described above and if you have lost a large amount of blood.
Consult your doctor if:
- bruises appear in other parts of the body that may suggest problems with blood clotting;
- fever appears above 38 °;
- nosebleeds are repeated and more frequent and abundant;
- there is severe nausea or vomiting, a sign of ingestion of a part of the lost blood