A nose bleed starts when blood vessels leak through the mucous membrane lining the inside of your nose. Being hit on the nose can set it off, as can a common cold, blowing the nose too hard, sinus problems or nose-picking. In rare cases, frequent or lengthy nose bleeds may be a signal that something else is wrong with you.
What Is A Nose Bleed?
Nose bleeds can happen to anyone, particularly children. You can usually stop them easily enough. But they are more serious if you are elderly, have high blood pressure or are taking anticoagulant drugs to thin your blood.
How Do I Know If I Have A Nose Bleed?
You may occasionally notice some blood on your handkerchief or tissue when you blow your nose, particularly if you have a cold. With a nose bleed, however, the blood may flow freely from your nose for several minutes or as much as an hour.
What Can I Do Immediately To Make My Nose Bleed Better?
• Sit down and lean forward slightly. Put a bowl on your lap to catch any blood. Breathe through your mouth and pinch your nostrils (just below the hard bridge of your nose) for at least 10 minutes. Release your nose carefully and do the same again if the bleeding has not stopped.
• Placing an ice-pack on the bridge of your nose may help to stem the bleeding.
• Once the bleeding has stopped, try not to blow your nose for a few hours.
What can I do generally to avoid a nose bleed?
• Do not blow your nose too violently. The best method is to clear each nostril in turn and once only.
• Do not pick your nose.
When Do I Need To See A Doctor?
• If you or your child has repeated or prolonged nose bleeds.
You should contact a doctor immediately if:
• You have a nose bleed and you are taking anticoagulant drugs.
Go straight to a hospital Accident & Emergency (casualty) department if:
• You have pinched your nose shut for 20 minutes and it is still bleeding.
• You have a nose bleed after a heavy blow to the head.
• Follow the steps described above to stop the bleeding.
• See a doctor or go to a hospital Accident & Emergency department if you have repeated or prolonged nose bleeds.