Sinus Nosebleeds

by Garreth Myers

Just under the mucus lining in the nose are a dense network of blood vessels. If these blood vessels get ruptured or punctured, nosebleeds occur. The flow of blood during a nosebleed can be surprisingly strong and difficult to stem. However, in most cases, nosebleeds are rarely a cause for concern and are often the result of extra dry mucosal lining or some form of injury to the delicate nasal membranes. Other possible causes for nosebleeds include:

  • Picking of the nose
  • Low humidity that exacerbates dry mucosal lining in the nose
  • Bleeding tumors (that may or may not be cancerous)
  • Foreign object in the nose
  • Bleeding disorders such as leukemia, low platelet levels, and problems with blood clotting
  • Hypertension
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
Nosebleeds may often accompany a sinus infection. Sinus infections cause an overproduction of mucus in the nasal passages and result in a blocked, stuffy or runny nose. Nosebleeds are not a direct symptom of a sinus infection but rather a side effect caused by medications such as decongestants used to treat the infection. Decongestants have a tendency to dry out the mucosal lining in the nose and make it more vulnerable to nosebleeds.

When it comes to sinus infections there are many things you can do to prevent nosebleeds from occurring such as:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep the nasal passages hydrated and prevent the drying out of the sinuses. This can include drinking water, hot drinks, broths or clear soups and herbal teas that help keep the sinuses moist as well as flush out the infection.
  • Another excellent way to treat a sinus infection and get rid of extra mucus is with steam inhalations. Boil a large pan or pot of water and place it in an area where it is easy to sit and lean over. Lean over the bowl of steaming hot water and cover your head with a towel. Gently breathe in the steam through your nose to loosen congestion and reduce clogged sinuses. Steam inhalation is more effective when done immediately after taking decongestant medications for sinusitis. The medications work on opening up the sinuses and allow the steam to clear the blocked nasal passages. The moisture from the steam counteracts the drying effect of the medications that cause the nosebleeds.
  • Essential aromatherapy oils can also help treat sinusitis. You can add a few drops of essential oils such as eucalyptus, pine or camphor to the hot water for added benefits. Eucalyptus and pine oils are well known for their anti-bacterial properties and help treat a sinus infection. Alternatively, you could add a few drops of lavender essential oil to soothe the affected nasal passages and ensure a good night’s sleep. Always make sure you use pure essential oils for the best results.
  • If your sinuses act up with weather changes or in cold temperatures, it may be worthwhile to invest in a humidifier to keep your sinuses moisturized. Today, humidifiers come with hygrometers to monitor humidity levels at home so that you can ensure a steady level of moisture at all times. This will prevent nosebleeds from occurring due to low humidity.
To stop a nosebleed you should:

  • Sit or stand upright and tilt your head forward to relieve pressure on the head and prevent the blood from flowing back down the throat.
  • Pinch the front of the nose to stem the flow of blood. Hold this pressure for at least a few minutes or else the bleeding will start again once the pressure is released.
  • If the bleeding continues even after fifteen minutes, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Once the bleeding has stopped, rub an antibiotic cream in the inside of your nose to prevent recurring nosebleeds and keep the lining moisturized.
In case nosebleeds still accompany sinus symptoms, consult with your doctor, as this may be a sign of a more serious medical condition.

References:
  1. http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Programs-and-Services/Sinus-Center/Conditions/Nosebleeds.aspx

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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