Most nosebleeds are caused by minor irritations or colds, and are therefore considered harmless.
The air that passes through the nose can dry and irritate the membranes of the nose’s inner lining. These membranes are filled with capillaries, which are blood vessels that are so tiny and thin that they can be easily affected. Most bleeding originates from the front of the nose, especially in the tissue that separates the two nostrils. Less frequently, it comes from the back or from the deeper part of the nose, where blood can go down the back of the throat, even if the person is sitting or standing. The MedlinePlus website offers some simple recommendations to keep them under control:
- Avoid plugging up the inside of your nose with gauze or toilet paper.
- Sit down and gently squeeze the soft part of your nose with your thumb and index finger so that your nasal cavity stays closed for a full 10 minutes.
- Lean forward to avoid swallowing blood, and breathe through your mouth.
- After 10 minutes have passed, check if the bleeding stopped.
- Applying ice or cold packs on your nasal bridge can be helpful.
- Try not to lie down or blow your nose while you wait.
- If the bleeding persists after 20 minutes or occurs more frequently without any specific reason, see a specialist.
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