| How To Stop A Nosebleed
While nosebleeds may be frightening to experience, in most cases they are quite harmless. Nosebleeds are common in children often resulting from rough play or an infection. They also common in adults in the winter months when the delicate tissue lining the nostrils become cracked and dry. Colds, a blocked nose and hay fever can also damage this lining. During a nosebleed, blood may leak from one or both nostrils, it may last a few seconds or last up to 15 minutes.
Interesting: The medical name for a nosebleed is epistaxis.
First Aid: How To Stop A Nosebleed
1. If you are not feeling faint, sit up and lean slightly forward. This keeps your head above heart level. If you do feel faint, lie on your side.
2. With a thumb and finger, pinch the lower end of the nose so you completely block the nostrils. You may need to lightly press for 10 minutes for the bleeding to stop. It is pointless to squeeze higher up near the nasal bone.
3. Don't be tempted to check if the bleeding has stopped for at least 5 minutes. If you are still bleeding at this point, continue to pinch for another 10 minutes.
4. Place a cold cloth or compress over the bridge of the nose. This will help seal blood vessels that have burst and stop bleeding. Or you can create an ice pack by placing ice cubes or crushed ice into a Ziploc bag. Alternatively buy a product called Nosebudd. This is a small gel filled pack specially designed for the shape of the nose. The product is kept in the freezer until needed.
5. You can spray a decongestant such as Vicks Sinex, Afrin, Neo-Synephrine or Dristan into the nostril(s) and then apply pressure to the nose as already described.
4. Once the bleeding stops avoid blowing your nose or sniffing or you may dislodge the blood clot that has formed and start another nosebleed.
What Not To Do
Don't tilt your head back. This causes blood to run down your throat which can make you choke or cough. If you swallow a lot of blood is could cause vomiting.
When To Seek Medical Help
• If bleeding does not stop after 20 minutes.
• You lose more blood than the size of a cup of coffee.
• Blood is flowing down your throat, even when sitting and leaning forward.
What The Doctor Will Do
Your doctor will pack your nose with nasal sponges. The sponges may need to stay in place for up to 2 days. Alternatively a flexible tube with a small balloon is inserted through a nostril into the back of a nose. The balloon is inflated and stops bleeding by applying pressure to the burst blood vessels. Bleeding vessels can also be cauterized. This is where a chemical substance or heat energy is applied to the vessels to seal them shut.
How To Prevent Nosebleeds
1. Place a glass of water near a radiator in each room in your home or office. This will help keep the atmosphere moist and prevent your nostrils from drying out.
2. Open your mouth when you sneeze, avoid sneezing through the nose.
3. Wash your nose with a saline spray or saline nose drop twice a day. You can buy these products over the counter in a drug store.
4. Avoid poking your nose with anything solid, including your fingers or cotton applicators.
5. Talk to an allergy specialist if nosebleeds are not controlled by taking special allergy medications.
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