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How Can I Stop Nosebleeds?

After noticing a nosebleed, it may help to gently blow your nose to release clots of blood that have been caught inside.
Nosebleeds usually are nothing to be concerned about.
Using ice packs on a nosebleed may help make the experience less frightening for children.
Dryness of the nose can be countered with petroleum jelly.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2014
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A bloody nose can be irritating and also frightening for people who do not get them frequently. Fortunately, a bleeding nose is rarely serious, and the condition is relatively easy to treat at home. If a nosebleed persists for more than half an hour or is the result of serious trauma such as a blow to the face, however, the patient should seek professional medical attention. In addition, frequent bloody noses can be a sign of a health problem, and they should be addressed by a doctor as well.

If you notice a nosebleed, sit down immediately and gently blow your nose to release clots of blood which may be caught inside. Then, tilt your head slightly forward and pinch the soft tissue of your nose, holding your nose shut for around 15 minutes. If your nose continues bleeding after you release it, repeat the process once. Persistent bleeding indicates a more serious medical problem which can be addressed at the hospital with cauterization or packing. These techniques to stop nosebleeds should not, however, be attempted at home, as it is possible to damage the delicate tissue of the nose with inexperience.

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Contrary to popular belief, ice or cold objects applied to any part of the body will not effectively stop nosebleeds. While ice can restrict the blood vessels slightly, it does not work as well as pinching the nose. For younger patients, however, an ice pack can be a distraction from the nosebleed, and it can make the experience less scary. Medications and herbal mixes may not always stop nosebleeds either, and they can in fact increase irritation to the nose, so they should be avoided.

Several things are important to keep in mind when you stop nosebleeds. The first is that the nose should be elevated above the heart, reducing the amount of blood flow to the nose. This is why sitting upright is the best position for treating a nosebleed. In addition, you want to avoid swallowing the blood, as this can cause intestinal upset. Leaning forward will allow the blood to drain out the nose and mouth, and patients should be given a basin to spit into so that blood will not trickle down their throats.

Several common things cause nosebleeds. Nose picking, dry weather, trauma to the face, allergies, and excessive use of nasal sprays and medications are common culprits. Many of these things can be addressed or avoided before nosebleeds become a problem, especially dryness of the nose, which can be countered with the application of a small amount of petroleum jelly to the inside of the nose. If you cannot stop nosebleeds or they occur frequently, the cause may be more complex, and the issue should be addressed.

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Discuss this Article

anon283724
Post 13

Everyone with reoccurring nose bleeds should be checked for HHT (Osler weber Rendu). Please do not take them lightly as there can be more dangerous and even deadly problems associated with HHT if left untreated!

anon274477
Post 12

I live in South Florida and ever since I was a little girl I would get nosebleeds that would last for hours. I remember once getting them at all hours of the day, including in my sleep, a few times every week for a couple of months. The doctor said it was normal for my age and the area we lived in.

I'm now 20 but still get them every now and then when the weather is extremely hot and I'm not hydrated. I've tried almost all the remedies including pinching my nose for 10-20 min. and the only thing that works quickly is ice. I put an few ice cubes on both my wrists, and sometimes on the back of my neck for about five minutes, then poof! Nosebleed gone.

Tonetare Bear
Post 11

Not sure how much I'm buying this article, considering the fact that ice packs are the only thing that stop my nose bleeds. The pinching crap never works for me. I'll hold my head back and pinch it for maybe twenty minutes and just when I think it works, it starts back up again anywhere from 10 minutes to five or six hours later. Never fails. However, when I use ice, the nose bleed never comes back. Ice is the only thing, I repeat the only thing that has been very effective for me, so I'm taking these geekwise articles with a grain of salt from here on out.

anon111511
Post 9

I had my first nose bleed two weeks ago and it bled for two hours. I ended up in an acute medical facility and the PA was able to finally stop the bleeding by pouring one and 1/2 bottles of Afrin into my nose. Two days later I had another that I was able to stop much sooner.

I had been to an ENT doctor (Ear, Nose, Throat Specialist) earlier that day and he told me to pinch the front of my nostrils very hard for 10 minutes, see if it stopped and if not do it again for another 10 minutes. So I did as I had been instructed and it worked, the bleeding stopped. I also used Afrin nose spray after the bleeding subsided somewhat and that helped end the bleeding.

I had another bleed two days ago and stopped it with the 2 - 10 minute intervals of pinching my nostrils and the use of Afrin. Each time it happens, it freaks me out, but now I know I can stop the bleeding. Hope this helps.

anon69329
Post 8

You should all be checked for Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) by your physician. Nosebleeds are the number one symptom.

anon60210
Post 7

I've had nose bleeds for years and have had multiple cauterizations. These work great for a few years, but eventually the blood vessels in the nose find a way back to the surface and the nose bleeds return.

As a side note, I've found that drinking lots and lots of water in a dry climate is about as good of a solution as possible. If your lips are chapped then your nose is probably dry and damaged as well. Stay hydrated!

abernst100
Post 6

I live in South Florida and have been noticing that I am getting nosebleeds every day whenever I go outside in 90+ degree temperature. I usually work indoors with air conditioning and only go outside periodically. But after being outside for more than 10 or 15 minutes, my nose bleeds and is difficult to stop except with hard pinching. Can a nosebleed be weather-related? How can I control it so that it doesn't happen at the worst possible time...such as when I am working behind the wheel of a car?

melissaport
Post 5

My daughter is nine and has had a problem with nosebleeds since she was a toddler. They have become more frequent and most often are triggered when she is upset and crying. The nosebleeds have become heavier and harder to stop. These can be very scary! What should I do?

anon24735
Post 4

I have suffered nose bleeds for 30 years and know how to stop the bleed quickly - so much so, that no bleed lasts very long any more. First, blow your nose so that it is reasonably clear. That will temporarily increase blood loss. Then, the key part of the plan - keeping your head upright, with just a slight tilt forward (so that the blood does not go down your throat, but at the same time gravity is not causing more blood flow than necessary) breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth and repeat this for 10 minutes. This has the effect of causing rapid clotting of the bleed without causing outward pressure on the bleed. If you doubt this works I ask you to do this as you read this message - breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth, and you will get the picture. Good luck.

anon12768
Post 3

I get nose bleeds everyday almost and it just happens randomly. It has been going on since the last 5 months and I went to my doctor and he said that I was fine and now I am not sure what to do. I mean if I go back to the doctor I don't want to hear oh you're fine because it is not fine.

Thanks

anon11455
Post 2

My son had frequent nosebleeds for several months. Finally took him to an ENT and discovered he had a staph infection which caused his blood vessels to swell. Just started him on oral antibiotics and neosporin ointment. Should get it checked out.

anon6841
Post 1

I have received a nose bleed everyday for the past three days they don't last that long but are annoying. It is normally when I first wake up is there something I might could do to prevent them?

Thanks

Moderator's reply: During the winter, the air is drier due to heaters and the winter air, which may contribute to nosebleeds. you may want to try sleeping with a humidifier in your room. if your nosebleeds continue, you should contact your doctor.

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