Is Dry Air The Only Thing Causing Nosebleeds?

Nosebleeds are also known as epistaxis. Getting a nosebleed is nothing to be alarmed about, as it can be a common experience that is relatively harmless. However, if they occur frequently this could indicate a serious underlying health problem and visiting a doctor would be beneficial in treating the problem.

Elderly people and children are especially susceptible to nosebleeds. Individuals who experienced frequent nosebleeds in childhood may also continue getting them in adulthood. Keep reading for more information about nosebleeds and what you can do to avoid them.

What is a Nosebleed?

There are two types of nosebleeds. They are anterior nosebleeds and posterior nosebleeds. Anterior nosebleeds are the more common nosebleeds, making up about 80% of nosebleed cases. Posterior nosebleeds are uncommon and harder to stop and control. Nosebleeds are usually not painful. Nosebleeds occur when blood is expelled from one or both nostrils of a person's nose. This occurs when the blood vessels located directly below the surface of the nose become irritated. The proximity of the blood vessels in the nose makes them susceptible to injury and can cause blood to come out of the nose. The flow of the nosebleed can be light, moderate, or heavy. The typical nosebleed can last for several seconds or as long as 10 minutes.

Causes of Nosebleeds

There are many causes of nosebleeds. One of the most common reasons is if the atmosphere is too dry and hot. The dry air that an individual breathes in causes the lining of the nose to dry up and crack. As a result, the cracks in the nose lining can easily cause bleeding. There are other reasons why people experience nosebleeds. For the elderly, nosebleeds are a sign of high blood pressure or atherosclerosis. It can also occur when a person takes too much of certain medications. Nosebleeds can be caused by sudden physical trauma, such as a taking a fall or getting in a car accident as well. Nosebleeds can be a sign of illnesses and health conditions such as nasal tumors or blood clotting disorders.

Prevention of Nosebleeds

There are several ways to prevent nosebleeds. If nosebleeds are caused by dry air, a humidifier can help alleviate dryness in the nose. Nosebleeds are common in the winter when a heater is used in the home at night. Putting a humidifier in the bedroom and leaving it on while sleeping, can help decrease the likelihood of nosebleeds from occurring. Abstaining from smoking can help prevent nosebleeds. Smoking can also cause the nose to bleed because the chemicals in smoke can dry out the nose and irritate the nasal lining. Also try not to insert any fingers in an attempt to dislodge mucus discharge in the nose, as this can cause bleeding. Children who have the habit of picking their noses and getting nose bleeds from it should keep their fingernails trimmed short to prevent the nose from bleeding.

Treatment of Nosebleeds

If a nosebleed does happen, there are many ways to treat it. It is important to remain calm. A nosebleed can look very frightening but they are nothing to be afraid of. They can be easily treated by doing several things. The first thing to do is sit down and lean forward. Leaning the head forward instead of backward will prevent blood from entering the back the throat and into the stomach. This blood could irritate the stomach lining. Use the thumb and index finger to pinch the tender part of the nose. Hold this position for a few minutes until the bleeding has ceased. If the bleeding has not stopped, hold it for up to 10 minutes. If the bleeding goes on for longer than 20 minutes, seek out a health professional for help. A nosebleed that occurs longer than 20 minutes can indicate internal bleeding so it is crucial to get it checked out by a doctor. If a nosebleed is severe and persistent, a doctor can treat it using different techniques, like cauterization, to help stop the bleeding. Cauterization is the process of using silver nitrate or a specialized heating device to burn the injured blood vessel so that the bleeding will stop.

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