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Nosebleeds (cont.)

Nosebleed Self-Care at Home

A small amount of bleeding from a nosebleed requires little intervention. For example, if a person with a cold or a sinus infection blows his or her nose vigorously and notices some blood in the tissue, one should avoid forceful nose blowing, sneezing, and nose picking. This is usually enough to keep the bleeding from getting worse.

How to stop a nosebleed

  • Remain calm.
  • Sit up straight and lean slightly forward.
  • Lean your head forward. Tilting your head back will only cause you to swallow the blood.
  • Pinch the nostrils together and apply direct pressure with the thumb and index finger for approximately 10 minutes. Time it to make sure the nostrils are not released earlier.
  • Spit out any blood in the mouth. Swallowing blood may make the affected individual vomit.
  • This technique will stop the majority of simple nosebleeds.

What to do after the bleeding has stopped

  • Once the bleeding has stopped, try to prevent any further irritation to the nose, such as sneezing, nose blowing, or straining for 24 hours.
  • Ice packs do not help nosebleeds.
  • Exposure to dry air, such as in a heated home in the winter, can contribute to the problem. Adding moisture to the air with a humidifier or vaporizer will help keep the nose from drying out and triggering more bleeding. Another option is to place a pan filled with water near a heat source, such as a radiator, which allows the water to evaporate and adds moisture to the air.
  • Nasal saline sprays or other lubricating ointments or gels also may be useful to promote tissue healing and keeps the nasal passages moist.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/9/2014

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Epistaxis, or bleeding from the nose, is common in its frequency and varied in its manifestation.

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