Causes Of A Nosebleed
The inside of the nose is delicate and nosebleeds happen when it’s damaged. This can be caused by:
- picking your nose
- blowing your nose too hard
- the inside of your nose being too dry
Nosebleeds that need medical attention can come from deeper inside the nose and usually affect adults. They can be caused by:
- an injury or broken nose
- high blood pressure
Sometimes the cause of a nosebleed is unknown.
Certain people are more prone to getting nosebleeds, including:
- elderly people
What Are The Causes Of A Nosebleed
The lining of your nose is filled with many tiny blood vessels. These blood vessels are fragile and bleed easily if disturbed. When this occurs, blood flows out one or both your nostrils. Blood flow may be heavy or light and;usually stops within 10 minutes. However, a nosebleed can be more severe, especially in older adults with health conditions such as high blood pressure or taking a blood thinner medicine such as;aspirin,;warfarin,;dabigatran;or;rivaroxaban.
Common causes of nosebleeds include:
- an injury to your face or a broken nose
- picking your nose using your fingers
- blowing your nose too hard or;sneezing
- cold and dry air this causes the lining of your nose to dry out and crack, eg, during winter
- flying at high altitude
- an infection in your airway such as a cold or;sinusitis.
Other causes of nosebleeds include:
How To Stop A Nosebleed
Under normal circumstances, its relatively easy to stop a nosebleed.
Follow these simple steps, and the bleeding should stop within minutes:
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When Is A Nosebleed A Serious Event
Seeing blood coming out of your nose is a scary sight for many people. The good news is that most nosebleeds are not serious and can be managed at home. However, see your doctor or get emergency medical attention if you are losing a heavy amount of blood, if you cannot stop your nosebleed after 20 minutes of trying or have had an immediate injury to your head, face or nose. Make an appointment to see your doctor if you have frequent nosebleeds.
What Is High Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure refers to the pressure of blood within your arteries, which carries blood around your body to vital organs. It is normal for your blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day, but when it consistently remains high, you should seek medical advice, as this can lead to serious issues such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
When you get a blood pressure reading, you will get a top systolic blood pressure and a bottom diastolic blood pressure number. Your systolic blood pressure is the highest level your blood pressure hits as blood is pumped around your body, and is an important indication of your risk of heart attack or stroke, while your diastolic blood pressure is the lowest level it reaches between your heart beats.
A normal blood pressure should be no more than 140/90 mmHg. A systolic reading of between 140-180 mmHg and a diastolic reading of between 90-110 mmHg could indicate possible hypertension, whereas a systolic reading higher than 180 mmHg and diastolic reading higher than 110mmHg indicates severe hypertension1.
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Immediate Action Required: Go To Your Emergency Department If:
- your nosebleed lasts longer than 10 to 15 minutes
- the bleeding seems excessive
- you’re swallowing a large amount of blood that makes you vomit
- the bleeding started after a blow to your head
- you’re feeling weak or dizzy
- you’re having difficulty breathing
The inside of the nose is delicate and nosebleeds happen when it’s damaged.
This can be caused by:
- picking your nose
- blowing your nose too hard
- the inside of your nose being too dry because of a change in air temperature
Nosebleeds that need medical attention can come from deeper inside the nose. These usually affect adults.
They can be caused by:
- an injury or broken nose
- high blood pressure
- conditions that affect the blood vessels or how the blood clots
- certain medicines, like warfarin
Nosebleeds may also be a sign of Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia . This is an inherited genetic disorder that affects blood vessels. 90% of sufferers of HHT complain of frequent nosebleeds.
Sometimes the cause of a nosebleed is unknown.
How Does Hypertension Cause Epistaxis
The relationship between hypertension and epistaxis is often misunderstood. Patients with epistaxis commonly present with an elevated blood pressure. Epistaxis is more common in hypertensive patients, perhaps owing to vascular fragility from long-standing disease.
Hypertension, however, is rarely a direct cause of epistaxis. More commonly, epistaxis and the associated anxiety cause an acute elevation of blood pressure. Therapy, therefore, should be focused on controlling hemorrhage and reducing anxiety as primary means of blood pressure reduction.
A study by Sarhan and Algamal, which included 40 patients with epistaxis and 40 controls, reported that the number of attacks of epistaxis was higher in patients with a history of hypertension, but the investigators were unable to determine whether a definite link existed between nosebleeds and high blood pressure. They did find, however, that control of epistaxis was more difficult in hypertensive patients; patients whose systolic blood pressure was higher at presentation tended to need management with packing, balloon devices, or cauterization.
Excessive coughing causing nasal venous hypertension may be observed in pertussis or cystic fibrosis.
Traboulsi H, Alam E, Hadi U. Changing Trends in the Management of Epistaxis. Int J Otolaryngol. 2015. 2015:263987. . .
Abelson TI. Epistaxis. Schaefer SD. Rhinology and Sinus Disease 1st ed. New York: Mosby; 1998. 43-50.
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You Cant Get It To Stop
Most nosebleeds stop within 15-20 minutes of onset.; Pinching the bridge of your nose, leaning forward and applying ice to the bridge of your nose can help a nosebleed stop faster.; However, if youre not able to get your nosebleed to stop with these measures, its important to seek prompt medical attention to prevent potentially serious complications from uncontrolled bleeding.
At GoHealth Urgent Care, were here 7 days a week to care for nosebleeds and most non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Click here if theres anything we can do today to help you feel better:
What Causes Frequent Nosebleeds In Adults
Nosebleeds can happen because of the delicate blood vessels that line the inside of the nose. They are close to the surface, so its easy for them to become damaged. Because these blood vessels can become irritated or damaged so easily, there are many potential causes.
But, the primary reason for most nosebleeds is dry air. When the blood vessels inside your nose dry out, its more likely that theyll bleed. Consider when you have dry skin. Its easier for that skin to crack open and start to bleed.
There are, of course, other reasons why nosebleeds occur and why some people experience this issue more often than others.
Common Reasons for Nosebleeds
- A head injury caused the bleeding
- Trauma to the nose caused the bleeding
If you got hit in the head or face and your nose starts to bleed, you should always see a doctor. It could have caused further damage, like a concussion or broken nose.
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Diabetes Nosebleeds: Is The Bleeding Connected To Diabetes
Lets start with viewing two cases.
Kaila is a type 1 diabetic patient and was diagnosed 15 years ago.; Recently she had nosebleeds twice in ten minutes. She had a headache before the bleeding started.
The next one is about Sharons daughter. She is also a type 1 diabetic and is now only 17 years old.; After the birthday party, her blood sugar levels were higher than normal. And, she had a nosebleed once.
Reading these two scenarios you may have guessed what I will be talking about today. Yes, its on;diabetes nosebleeds. This is one of the controversial topics.
To divulge the entire thing, I will present some researched-based information about this;diabetes y epistaxis;topic.
Before nitpicking, it would be best for you to take a fair knowledge of;diabetes and nosebleeds;individually.
Table of Content
Treatment For Nosebleeds In Horses
Veterinarians have turned to technological advancements like endoscopes for equines to get an actual visual of what is causing nosebleeds in horses. With this fiber optic method, they are able to locate the source of the bleed and determine its effects. This will also allow the veterinarian to determine if surgery is required to correct the problem.When endoscopy does not reveal an issue, the veterinarians may resort to skull radiography to attempt to diagnose the issue so that a proper course of medical action can be taken. This method is effective especially with skittish horses that cannot handle the tube being passed through their noses.
Only skilled veterinarians should impede the horseâs nostrils for any reason including trying to subdue the nosebleed due to the real possibility of suffocating the horse.
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When Should I Go To The Emergency Room If I Have A Nosebleed
- You cannot stop the bleeding after more than 15 to 20 minutes of applying direct pressure on your nose as described in the steps above.
- The bleeding is rapid or the blood loss is large .
- You are having difficulty breathing.
- You have vomited because youve swallowed a large amount of blood.
- Your nosebleed has followed a blow to your head or serious injury .
- You get nosebleeds often.
- You have symptoms of anemia .
- You have a child under two years of age who has had a nosebleed.
- You are taking blood thinning drugs or have a blood clotting disorder and the bleeding wont stop.
- You get a nosebleed that seems to have occurred with the start of a new medication.
- You get nosebleeds as well as notice unusual bruising all over your body. This combination may indicate a more serious condition such as a blood clotting disorder , leukemia or nasal tumor and will need to be checked by your doctor.)
Looking For A List Of Symptoms
If you are looking for a list of symptoms and signs of high blood pressure;, you wont find them here. This is because most of the time, there are none.
Myth: People with high blood pressure will experience symptoms, like nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping or facial flushing.
Truth: High blood pressure is a largely symptomless silent killer. If you ignore your blood pressure because you think a certain symptom or sign will alert you to the problem, you are taking a dangerous chance with your life.
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Other Bizarre Things That Reportedly Can Happen Before A Storm
- Tree leaves turn over – when the humidity rises before a storm, leaf stems on trees go limp, causing the leaves to show their undersides when the wind catches them.
- Bugs mate less – when that barometric pressure drops before the rain, studies have suggested that bugs lose interest in mating. The likes of the cucurbit beetles, potato aphids and true armyworm moths were studied and, while they’d still mate, they’d try and get it over with quickly if it felt like it was going to rain. Romantic, right?
- The air has a new smell – a fresh scent you can smell before a storm hits comes from the ozone, molecules of which are being pushed closer to the ground. Apparently the air also becomes hotter than the sun when lightning strikes, according to this article by Reader’s Digest.
- Bees work extra hard – more buggy research believes that bees can predict when it’s going to rain and stock up on food to see them through. Scientists in one study apparently tracked 300 honeybees for more than a month and found that the day before it rained, the bees worked later than usual.
- Dogs get nervous – Vets believe that your hound can also predict the weather and you’ll likely see that in their behaviour. They can sense changes in the pressure of the atmosphere and hear low-frequency rumbles before their human and even feel a bit of static electricity.
Nose Bleeds And High Blood Pressure
To determine if spontaneous nosebleeds could be a sign of high blood pressure, ENT surgeons analysed 10 good quality studies that involving over 8,600 people. This confirmed that the risk of nose bleeding was 53% to 86% greater in people with hypertension than in those whose blood pressure was classed as normal. However, nose bleeding can be a sign of masked hypertension, in which blood pressure readings are normal during the day, and in the doctors office, but are significantly higher during the night.
One study reviewed the blood pressure charts of 60 people admitted to hospital with a nosebleed, and compared these to 60 similar patients without a nose bleed. They found that a third of those with nose bleeds had masked hypertension, compared with one in eight of those without nose bleeds. There was no significant difference in daytime systolic blood pressure between the two groups, but night-time readings were significantly higher.
In one study, 43% of people admitted to hospital with a serious spontaneous nose bloods were found to have undiagnosed high blood pressure. There was no link between the severity of a nose blood and the severity of hypertension, however.
If you are already on antihypertensive medication, your treatment may need adjustment to achieve better blood pressure control.
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How Do I Stop A Nosebleed
Follow these steps to stop a nosebleed:
- Sit upright and lean your body and your head slightly forward. This will keep the blood from running down your throat, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Breathe through your mouth.
- Use a tissue or damp washcloth to catch the blood.
- Use your thumb and index finger to pinch together the soft part of your nose. Make sure to pinch the soft part of the nose against the hard bony ridge that forms the bridge of the nose. Squeezing at or above the bony part of the nose will not put pressure where it can help stop the bleeding.
- Keep pinching your nose continuously for at least 5 minutes before checking if the bleeding has stopped. If your nose is still bleeding, continue squeezing the nose for another 10 minutes.
- If youd like, apply an ice pack to the bridge of your nose to further help constrict blood vessels and provide comfort. This is not a necessary step, but you can try this if you want.
- You can spray an over-the-counter decongestant spray, such as oxymetazoline into the bleeding side of the nose and then apply pressure to the nose as described above. WARNING: These topical decongestant sprays should not be used over a long period of time. Doing so can actually cause an increase in the chance of a nosebleed.
- After the bleeding stops, DO NOT bend over, strain and/or lift anything heavy. DO NOT blow or rub your nose for several days.
What Causes Nosebleeds While Sleeping
The reasons for nosebleeds during sleep are the same as the reasons why they occur during the daytime dried nasal membrane caused by dry air, allergies and colds and other upper respiratory infections that damage the delicate nasal membrane lining your nose. Sleeping with your head to the side also may put direct pressure on the nasal cavity and may be another reason for nosebleeds at night.
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What Not To Do If You Have A Nosebleed
Stopping a nosebleed isnt fun, but it also isnt that difficult. There are, however, certain things you should avoid if you have a nosebleed. Some actions can make the bleeding worse or lead to complications.
You should avoid the following mistakes:
- Dont stop applying pressure for at least 10 minutes. Its tempting to check to see if the bleeding has ended, but each time you release pressure, you could be allowing the blood to start flowing again.
- Dont lay down on your back. Staying upright will reduce the pressure in your nose and will help it to stop bleeding so freely.
- Dont pack your nose with tissues or other items. You can use a tissue;to catch the blood. But, picking your nose can cause further damage to your blood vessels and make the bleeding worse.
Other Inconclusively Related Symptoms
A variety of symptoms may be indirectly related to, but are not always caused by, high blood pressure, such as:
- Blood spots in the eyes: Blood spots in the eyes are more common in people with diabetes or high blood pressure, but neither condition causes the blood spots. Floaters in the eyes are also not related to high blood pressure. However, an eye doctor may be able to detect damage to the optic nerve;caused by untreated high blood pressure.
- Facial flushing: Facial flushing occurs when blood vessels in the face dilate. It can occur unpredictably or in response to certain triggers such as sun exposure, cold weather, spicy foods, wind, hot drinks and skin-care products. Facial flushing can also occur with emotional stress, exposure to heat or hot water, alcohol consumption and exercise all of which can raise blood pressure temporarily. While facial flushing may occur while your blood pressure is higher than usual, high blood pressure is not the cause of facial flushing.
- Dizziness: While dizziness can be a side effect;of some blood pressure medications, it is not caused by high blood pressure. However, dizziness should not be ignored, especially if the onset is sudden. Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination and trouble walking are all warning signs of a stroke. High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
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