MedLines: Things to know about Nose Bleeding

By Patience Joseph Mamman

As the name implies, nose bleeding simply means bleeding through the nose. The nose is abundantly supplied by blood vessels hence its vulnerability to easily bleed. Nose blessing can be categorized based on where it originates and so based on that we have basically two types of nose bleeding:

1. Anterior nose bleed.

  • Usually originates from the front part of the nose.
  • The bleeding usually originates from a blood vessel on the nasal septum where a network of blood vessels converge.
  • They are easy to control either by measures that can be performed at home or by a health care giver.

2. Posterior nose bleed.

  • Originates from the back of the nose.
  • Less common than the anterior type.
  • Originates from an artery at the back of the nose.
  • This type is more complicated than the first one and usually requires admission in the hospital.

Common Causes of Nose Bleeds.

  • Trauma eg a blow to the nose.
  • Allergic Rhinitis.
  • Vigorous nose bleeding.
  • Deviated or perforated nasal septum.
  • Habitual nose picking.
  • Exposure to dry air.
  • Skull fracture.

Other causes include:

  • Cocaine use.
  • Frequent use of Non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs e.g Aspirin.
  • Use of blood thinning medications e.g Coumadin
  • Leukemia
  • Blood- clotting abnormalities.

Remedies for Nose bleeding.

  • Remain calm when the nose bleed starts.
  • Sit up straight and lean your head forward.
  • Pinch the nostrils together and apply direct pressure with the thumb and index finger for approximately 10-20mins.
  • Spit out any blood in the mouth as swallowing it may irritate the stomach causing the patient to vomit.

What to do after the Bleeding stops.

  • Once it has stopped,try to prevent further irritation to the nose such as nose blowing for at least 24hrs.
  • Ice packs may be used, though it hasn’t been verified whether it actually helps stop nose bleeding.
  • Use nasal sprays or humidifiers to moisturise the air inhaled by the nose so as to keep the nasal lining moisturized.
  • Trim all long finger nails especially for children.

When to seek medical attention.

  • Repeated episodes of nosebleeds or if it fails to stop after 30mins of applying pressure on the nose.
  • Additional bleeding from places other than the nose eg urine and stool.
  • Any underlying disease such as blood clotting deficiencies.
  • When it occurs in a child below 2 years of age.
  • When it occurs following an accident especially car accident.