First Aid for Nosebleeds

by Sam Malone

Nose bleeds are a fairly common occurrence and are typically nothing to worry about. Usually it is fairly simple to stop with first aid for nose bleeding. The body forms a clot and heals naturally with a little bit of aid. However, in certain cases, if the bleeding does not end, you should refer to a doctor immediately.

First aid for nose bleeding can be administered by following these steps:

  • Stay calm. Getting worked up at the sight of blood will not help the cause.
  • Sit up straight and lean forward so that you do not swallow the blood that might irritate the stomach and cause vomiting later on.
  • Pinch your nostrils together with your thumb and index finger. Stay like this for at least ten minutes. Breathe through your mouth. This will help in stopping the flow of the blood by increasing pressure inside the nose and causing the blood vessels to constrict. Spit out any blood from your mouth as swallowing it might aggravate the stomach.
  • Apply ice or a cold compress to the nose. This provides relief; however, do not attempt to pack the nose with gauze. This may be dangerous and is best to refer to a doctor.
  • Once the bleeding has stopped, sit still for a while keeping your head above your heart. This will eliminate any chances of bleeding to recur. Try not to pick your nose or blow it for at least a day.

If the bleeding does not stop after fifteen minutes, call the doctor who may recommend a decongestant nasal spray, cauterizing the bleeding blood vessel or nasal packing, depending on the situation.

Drying of the nasal membrane can also cause dried blood in nose that is difficult to remove and painful as well. This is a usual occurrence during dry climates or in winters when is exposed to heaters and other appliances that suck moisture from the air. Colds and allergies can also cause this. It is nothing to worry about if it is in small amounts. Using a nasal wash may help to clean the nose and aid in recovery. However, if the condition persists or if the bleeding is in large amounts, then it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Nose bleeding symptoms are easy to spot. It is usually bleeding from one nostril. If the bleeding is heavy, it can overflow on in to the second nostril and may also drip back into the throat or stomach. This is a rare occurrence though. Symptoms that indicate a serious condition and need to be reported immediately are nose bleeds after a head injury or injury to the nose, bleeding that does not stop after ten to fifteen minutes, and coughing up of blood.


The nose is rich in blood vessels, and as it slightly protrudes outward from the face,it is vulnerable to external injury and therefore bleeding. Causes of bleeding from the nose can be due to the following reasons:

  • Drying of the nasal membrane during dry climate or winter months when one is exposed to heaters that dry the air around
  • Nosebleeds may also be a symptom of other underlying diseases such as high blood pressure
  • Allergies or hay fever
  • Colds
  • An external object stuck in the nose, usually the case with kids
  • Injury due to excessive picking, forceful blowing, or bumping your nose into something
  • Use of blood thinning medication
  • Alcohol abuse

Causes of nasal bleeding can be of two types. Most of the nosebleeds happen in the front of the nose and are called anterior nosebleeds. There are many blood vessels that are delicate and that can get easily damaged and therefore cause bleeding. These nosebleeds are easy to stop and can be done without medical aid. Nosebleeds that come from higher up in the nose are usually heavier and the blood usually flows down the throat. This happens more with adults and may need a doctor's help. They are called posterior nosebleeds.

Causes of sudden nose bleeding are typically drying of the nasal membranes due to environmental causes and change in weather. Change in elevation can also bring about a sudden nose bleeds. If you are prone to nosebleeds, carry a pack of tissues while traveling. Excessive picking of the nose, blowing too hard or bumping your nose are also causes of sudden nosebleeds. Allergies and colds can aggravate the nose and cause it to bleed. Getting treatment for the primary cause will also stem the bleeding. There may be other more serious causes of a nosebleed. Polyps in the nose, high blood pressure, and bleeding disorders are a few examples. These require immediate medical attention. In case you have recurring nose bleeds, do not hesitate to seek medical help to assess the real cause and thereby alleviate it.

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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