Nosebleeds

Publication Date: 
Fri, 01/27/2012
By: Alere Staff

Nuisance bleeds are more common for warfarin users. Low humidity or not drinking enough water can make your small blood vessels just inside your nose more vulnerable to rupturing – the cause of the typical nosebleed.

What causes nosebleeds?

Low humidity, injury to the nose, or uncontrolled high blood pressure are factors that increase your risk of a nosebleed. Excessive nose blowing and/or the use of anti-histamines can also increase your risk of your developing a nosebleed.1

Two types of nosebleeds

There are two types of nosebleeds – anterior and posterior nosebleeds. Anterior nosebleeds are most common, and occur when your small blood vessels rupture in the lower septum. The septum is the portion of your lower nose that separates the nostrils. Bleeding usually occurs in only one nostril.1,2

How can you help prevent a nosebleed?

The use of over-the-counter saline nasal sprays can help you reduce the risk of nosebleeds by maintaining a moist environment in the septum, decreasing the risk of ruptured small blood capillaries.

Humidifiers can also be used to increase humidity in your home or apartment during fall and winter months, when nosebleeds are more common.1

How can I stop a nosebleed?1,2
Nosebleeds

1. Sit or stand with head facing forward.

2. Gently pinch just below the bony ridge of the nose and apply steady pressure.

3. Apply pressure for 5-10 minutes.

4. If bleeding continues – apply pressure for 5 more minutes.

5. If the nosebleed has not stopped after 15 minutes, apply an ice pack to the bridge of your nose or upper lip to reduce the blood flow to the area.

Nosebleeds that last more than 30 minutes require medical attention.

  1. National Institutes of Health. Nosebleed article. www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003106.htm.
  2. Wittkowsky, A. Prevention and treatment of nosebleeds. University of Washington Medical Center Anticoagulation Clinic. 2006.