Nosebleed and Vomiting

by Sam Malone

Nosebleeds or epistaxis occur as a result of the rupture of blood vessels found under the mucosal lining in the nose. Blood vessels can burst because of dryness caused by low humidity or harsh weather conditions or injury or trauma to the nose. Other possible causes of nosebleeds include allergic reactions, sinus infections, tumors, blood clotting problems, and other blood disorders such as leukemia or low platelet counts. Nosebleeds that occur once in a while and are not severe or prolonged are not a cause for concern. However, if the bleeding does not stop even after fifteen minutes or the nosebleeds occur frequently, it is best to consult with your doctor, as this may be a sign of a more serious medical condition.

Nosebleeds tend to occur unilaterally or only from one side of the nose. The most common area for a nosebleed is also from the front of the nose. However, bleeding from the back of the nose can occur as well. During a nosebleed, the bleeding can range from a mild trickle to a strong flow. There may be a sensation of liquid flowing to the back of the throat accompanied by an urge to swallow frequently. When this happens, it is best to sit or stand upright and hold your head forwards. Tilting your head backwards or lying down will make the blood flow down the back of your throat and lead to nausea and vomiting.

The best way to treat a nosebleed is to:
  • Pinch the nostrils together for at least ten minutes to stem the flow of blood.
  • Place an ice pack around and on the nose to stop the bleeding.
  • Do not blow or pick the nose for the rest of the day after a nosebleed.
  • Do not pack the nose with gauze or cotton.
  • Apply Vaseline or an antibiotic cream on the inside of the nose to prevent the membranes from drying out after a nosebleed.
  • Do not lie down.
  • If the bleeding does not stop or the nosebleed follows an injury to the head or an accident, get to an emergency room as soon as possible.
Treatment for recurring or severe nosebleeds may include:
  • Suturing the ruptured blood vessels using heat or electric current
  • Medications to control blood pressure and bleeding
  • Removing a foreign body that may be causing the bleeding
  • Nasal packing
  • Treating a broken nose
  • Increasing the humidity with the use of a humidifier if dryness is the cause of recurring nosebleeds
If vomiting usually follows a nosebleed, it may be a sign of an underlying illness or disorder. Possible medical conditions associated with vomiting and nosebleeds include:
  • Food poisoning
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Overuse of aspirin
  • Nasal polyps
  • Iron poisoning
  • Low blood sugar
  • Kidney failure
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Hepatitis B
  • Stroke
  • Head injury / skull fracture
  • Motion sickness
  • Drug overdose
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Brain aneurysm / infection / tumor
To determine the cause of the nosebleeds and vomiting, your doctor will require tests such as blood tests, a nasal endoscopy, and a CT scan of the nose. You may be required to consult with an ENT specialist if the nosebleeds are severe or the vomiting does not cease. Treatment for nosebleeds and vomiting will depend on the cause of the condition. Such symptoms should not be taken lightly and a proper diagnosis and medical treatment should be received as soon as possible.

References:
  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003106.htm

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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