Understanding how to stop nose bleeds can save you many trips to the ER. While most people usually have an idea on potential triggers, nose bleeding can be dramatic and frightening. Nose bleeds are more common in dry cold months. Nose bleeding can occur at any age but children below 10 years and adults aged 50 years and above are commonly affected. Most of the time nose bleeds are not as serious and can be stopped easily. Here are tips on how to stop nose bleeding fast at home.
How to Stop Nose Bleeds Fast
Medically known as epistaxis, nose bleeding is a common ER problem. While it is relatively harmless, it can result in life threatening situations. It is estimated that 60% of the population have at least one episode of nose bleeding at some point in their lives. To understand how to stop nose bleeds better, it is important to know that there are two types of nose bleeds depending on whether bleeding is from the front or the back of the nose.
Posterior Nose Bleeds
Comprising 10% of nose bleeds, posterior nose bleeds are less common than anterior nose bleeds. Posterior nose bleeds are more likely to occur in elderly people. In this type of nose bleed, bleeding usually comes from an artery at the back of the nose. Blood is usually not visible as it flows down the back of the nostril. Since they involve a larger blood vessel, posterior nose bleeds are more dangerous and difficult to treat. This make home management a little complicated and may require admission to the hospital for specialized treatment. Causes of posterior nose bleeding includes:
- Nasal or sinus surgery
- Bleeding disorders
- Drugs that interfere with blood clotting such as warfarin
Anterior Nose Bleeds
Anterior nose bleeds are most common and makes up more than 90% of all nose bleeds. Bleeds usually comes from a vessel at the front part of the nose. These are much easier to control and can be easily managed at home. Anterior nose bleeding is less severe but can be quite frightening as blood is seen oozing from the nostril. Common in younger patients, anterior nose bleeds usually occur as a result of injury to the nose or dry nasal membrane.
Most nose bleeds can be easily controlled at home. Having a better understanding of the causes makes it easy to handle your nose bleeds at home. Here is how to stop nose bleeds fast at home
- DO NOT panic.
- Sit up straight with your head slightly forward. Sitting with your head tilted to the back may cause blood to run down the back of the throat. Swallowing blood can irritate your stomach and cause vomiting. Exertion while vomiting may make nose bleeds worse. Spit out any blood that collects in your mouth.
- Use your thumb and your index finger to firmly pinch the soft part of your nose. While applying pressure, breathe through your mouth.
- Keep applying pressure for 10 minutes. Do not release to take a peak.
- After 10 minutes, check to see if your nose is still bleeding. Most nose bleeds will stop in 10-20 minutes of pressure to nose
- Place an ice pack on the bridge of the nose and cheeks. This will help constrict the blood vessels leading to the nose and help stop the bleeding.
- Wash your nose and apply a thin layer of saline or water based nasal gel in your nose.
- Rest for a while to prevent further bleeding
- Do not lift heavy objects or blow your nose for at least 12 hours because it can dislodge the blood clot over the injured vessel
Contact your doctor if:
- Bleeding continues for more than 20 minutes
- Bleeding is heavy with clots
- You swallow a large amount of blood that makes you vomit
- Bleeding does not stop and you are taking blood thinner or have a blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia
- Nose bleeding occurs in toddlers (children below 2 years. It is rare and usually a sign of something serious
- You have symptoms of excessive blood loss such as dizziness, palpitations or shortness of breath
- You have regular nose bleeds
- Bleeding occurs after a serious injury such as a car crash
How to Prevent Nose Bleeds from happening
- Learn and understand the cause of your nose bleeds and avoid the situation in the future
- Be gentle on your nose- avoid picking your nose. This will dislodge clots covering blood vessels that were previously injured.
- Keep the inner lining of your nose moist. Apply a thin layer of nasal gel inside your nose
- Blow your nose gently, one side at a time
- Clip children’s finger nails to prevent injury while picking the nose
- While sneezing, keep your mouth open to prevent forceful expulsion of air through the nose.
- Wear protective gear for the head and face during athletic activities to reduce the chance of injury to the nose
- Get treatment for any underlying medical conditions that can cause nose bleeds
- During winter and dry climates, use a humidifier to prevent overly dry nasal membranes
- Take sufficient amounts of water to keep your membranes hydrated throughout the day
- Limit intake of caffeinated beverages
- Treat your allergies
- DO NOT smoke if you have regular nose bleeds. Smoking irritates and dry out the nasal membranes
- Eat a balanced diet with lots of foods rich in iron, vitamin C, vitamin K and zinc. These will help improve collagen formation, enhance blood clotting and increase hemoglobin count.
- Avoid spicy foods
- Limit the use of blood thinners if possible.
Home Remedies for Nose Bleeds
A better understanding of how to stop nose bleeds at home can save you a lot of trips to the ER. Though frightening, nose bleeds are usually benign and do not indicate any serious problem. You can easily manage them with these simple home remedies;
A very effective nose bleeding remedy during dry climates. Use Vaseline to keep the nostrils moist without irritating the membranes. Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to the inside of your nostril as needed.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Saturate two small cotton balls with apple cider vinegar. Place them in both nostrils and wait for 5 minutes.
Alternatively, mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water. Drink 3 times in a day to prevent nose bleeds.
Use a warm saline solution to clear blocked nostrils and safely stop nose bleeds at home. It moisturizes, soothes and reduces irritation of the nasal membranes.
Mix a pinch of salt with ½ a cup of warm water. Use a dropper to place a few drops of the solution to the nostrils 2-3 times to clear irritation.
Steam is an effective home remedy for those suffering from recurrent nose bleeding caused by low humidity climates. Steam inhalation keeps the nasal passages moist. Prepare a steam bath or inhale steam from your morning cup of tea. Enhance the effectiveness of steam inhalation using golden seal or holy basil.
Onion is an excellent clotting agent making it effective in stopping nose bleeds. Cut 1 onion into thick slices. Place 1 slice under the nose and inhale the fumes. Alternatively, put 2 -3 drops of fresh onion juice in each nostril. Repeat as needed.
Nettle has strong astringent properties that help promote blood clotting. It also helps to strengthen delicate blood vessels. Nettle is also great in treating allergies, a common cause of nose bleeds.
Coriander is commonly used in Ayurveda treatment of nose bleeds. It has cooling and soothing properties that help stop nose bleeds fast. Prepare a paste of coriander leaves and place it on your forehead. Alternatively, put a few drops of coriander juice onto the inner lining of your nostrils.
To stop nose bleeding in toddlers, make sure that the child is as calm as possible. Crying increases blood flow to the face making nose bleeds even worse. Check for any foreign objects in your child’s nostrils and get professional management as needed.