Nose bleeds, also known as epistaxis, are a common complaint which can occur spontaneously. Nose bleeds occur when the inner lining of one’s nose is hurt or dry. The resulting damage to small blood vessels in the nose induce bleeding. Almost all nose bleeds originate from blood vessels in the front part of the nasal septum, which is the inside middle tissue separating both nostrils. Nose bleeds occur more frequently in patients with nasal allergies, sinusitis, hypertension, or bleeding disorders.
Position your body. If you do not have a serious issue that led to your nose bleed, you can perform some first aid at home during a nose bleed to help stop it. To begin, sit down, since it is more comfortable than standing. Tilt head forward so that the blood drains through the nostrils.
- A towel can be held under your nose to collect the blood.
- Do not lie down as this can cause blood to pass down the throat.
Compress the nose. With a finger and thumb, pinch the lower fleshy end of the nose, completely blocking the nostrils. Pinching at this point directly applies pressure at the region where the blood vessels are damaged. This makes the move more effective since it will help stop the flow of blood. Keep pinching the nose for 10 minutes, then release.
- If bleeding continues, reapply pressure for another 10 minutes.
- While you do this, breathe through the mouth.
Cool yourself down. Lowering your body temperature can help reduce the blood flow to your nose. To do this, place ice cubes in your mouth. This helps achieve a lower temperature sooner than cooling the external part of the nose. It also will help you retain the lower temperature for longer.
- This is more effective than placing a cold compress over the nose. Cold compresses placed over the nose are not very effective according to a recent clinical study.
Wash your nose and rest. After bleeding has stopped, you can clean the area around your nose with warm water. After you have cleaned your face, you should rest for a while. This is to help to prevent further bleeding.
- You can lie down while resting.