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Nosebleeds: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

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Nosebleeds: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

ENT- Otolaryngology | by Dr. Arjun Dasgupta | Published on 25/06/2022


Do you often experience nosebleeds? Nosebleeds are a pesky problem that is not usually a sign of anything serious. And you can usually treat them at home. However, they can be a medical problem if not treated in time. In this blog, we will discuss a few tips that can effectively prevent nosebleeds. If you often experience nosebleeds and are unable to find the solution that’s suitable for your problem, you can book your appointment with The Calcutta Medical Research Institute in Kolkata. With the assistance of an expert and qualified healthcare professional, you will not only find the best diagnosis but also treatment options to treat the nosebleeds. 

In this blog, we will involve a comprehensive discussion about nosebleeds, their causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention tips. However, please note that it is for only informative purposes and we don’t endorse overlooking the doctor’s consultation in any way. 

What are Nosebleeds?

Nosebleeds also referred to as epistaxis are blood loss from the tissue lining inside the nose. It can occur in a single or both nostrils, however, one nostril is always targeted. The nose has several tiny blood vessels that assist in warming and moistening the air we breathe. Our blood vessels easily become dry and irritated by air passing through the nose. It implies that injury and breaking of these vessels can easily lead to nosebleeds. However, there is no need to get anxious as most nosebleeds are trouble-free. 

Causes of Nosebleed

One of the most common sites in our body for spontaneous bleeding is the nose. The nose has a very abundant blood supply, which allows the nose to modify the humidity and temperature of the air you breathe, and the vessels are closer to the surface than in other parts of the body. As a result, the vessels in the nose become more sensitive and vulnerable to damage. When the temperature is chilly and dry, nosebleeds are especially bothersome. This dryness can harm or crack the fragile nasal membrane that lines the nose, causing a bleed.

Here are some of the primary causes of nosebleeds: 

  • Infections like sinusitis, colds, nose blowing, coughing, and sneezing 
  • Allergies involving nasal lining inflammation and allergic reactions
  • Blood-thinning medicines like warfarin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs 
  • Recreation drugs involving cocaine or inhaling drugs 
  • High altitudes due to oxygen insufficiency and drier altitude 
  • Chemical irritants like fumes, cleaning supplies, etc.
  • Deviated septum, separating the nose two shades due to unusual shape 
  • Nasal sprays, regular usage, and medicines like decongestants to treat itchy runny, and stuffy nose 

Some of the less common nosebleeds causes also include alcohol use, bleeding disorders like hemophilia, high blood pressure, facial and nasal surgery, atherosclerosis, nasal tumors, nasal polyps, immune thrombocytopenia, leukemia, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, and pregnancy.

How can you stop Nosebleeds?

The majority of nosebleeds do not necessitate medical treatment and can be handled at home. Follow these strategies to ease the flow the next time you get a nosebleed:

  • Keep your cool and breathe through your mouth. When you are nervous, it can make you bleed more.
  • Pinch your nostrils shut. Keep them closed for 5 to 10 minutes to provide pressure to the bleeding area of the nose and help halt the flow.
  • Bring your chin up. Leaning forward prevents blood from draining from your mouth. If you acquire some in your mouth, spit it out rather than ingest it. Vomiting might be caused by blood in your stomach.
  • Maintain your head above your heart. Instead of lying down, stand or sit up straight to avoid getting blood in your mouth or stomach.
  • Try using a nasal spray. The nasal spray has the potential to temporarily restrict blood vessels.
  • Avoid blowing your nose for 24 hours after the bleeding has stopped. Also, avoid lifting heavy objects or engaging in any activity that would cause strain to prevent the nosebleed from recurring.
  • Seek medical treatment if the bleeding lasts more than 20 minutes, is particularly heavy, or is the result of a fall or other injury to your nose.

Also, if you get more than three nosebleeds per week, contact your healthcare provider right away.

When should you seek medical help for nosebleeds?

As per our experts practicing ENT treatment in Kolkata, nosebleeds are usually not a cause for concern. There are, however, some red indicators that show something more serious is going on. Seek medical attention right away if you suffer from any of the following symptoms:

  • A nosebleed that might last up to 15 minutes.
  • If the bleeding squirts from the nose rather than dripping.

How can you reduce the chances of frequent nosebleeds?

If you want to reduce the chances of frequent nosebleeds, then make sure to take certain measures that help keep the nasal passages moist. Here are some tips that can help in diminishing the factors leading to injury or irritation:

  • Make sure to regularly use a humidifier or saline nasal spray in your home mainly during the winter season. It will help you maintain the moisture in the air and avert nasal passages from drying.
  • Always ensure that you are hydrated to ensure that mucous membranes in the nose are moist.
  • Use a good amount of petroleum jelly thin layer or any good nasal ointment to assist the nostril in retrieving the moisture 
  • Make sure you are not nose-picking all the time or inserting foreign objects. Don’t scratch or prick the inside of your nose to avoid injuries.
  • Involve using a humidifier in the home, particularly during the winter
  • Make sure to protect your nose while playing sports or wear protective gear like a face mask, or a helmet
  • You must ensure avoiding irritants such as smoking or strong odors that lead to drying out the nasal passages. 
  • Involve using nasal decongestant sprays as overusing causes the nosebleeds risks and congestion 
  • Lastly, consult your healthcare provider if you are regularly or frequently experiencing nosebleeds.


In winding up our probe of nosebleeds, keep in mind that certain steps can assist you in the long run. Make sure that your nasal passages are always hydrated and remove those dry spells. The tilt-and-pinch technique is your way to go if a nosebleed occurs often. To manage the flow, you can pinch the soft part of your nose and cower a little. Ensure to evade strong nose blows and trim the nails to avert injuries. In case, you are on blood thinners, get in touch with your doctor for personalized advice. If you still experience nosebleeds, ensure you seek medical assistance as it can indicate something serious. You need to stay informed about nosebleeds and take certain precautions that will help keep nosebleeds at bay.



Can stress cause nosebleeds?

There is no clear evidence regarding whether stress leads to nosebleeds, but some research has shown that it might play a vital role. Stress causes high blood pressure and heart rate causing blood dilation which eventually leads to bleeding. 

Is nosebleed a sign of cancer?

Yes, if nosebleeds are frequent, then it can indicate paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer which also involves sinus issues. There are other signs you can look for such as sinus pressure, headaches, sinus pain, and blocked sinuses.

Does high blood pressure cause nosebleeds?

Yes, it is one of the main reasons for some people who experience nosebleeds often.