Care and Prevention
Most nosebleeds are mere nuisances; but some are quite frightening, and a few are even life threatening. Physicians classify nosebleeds into two different types.
- Anterior Nosebleed: The nosebleed that comes from the front part of the nose and begins with a flow of blood out one or the other nostril if the patient is sitting up or standing.
- Posterior Nosebleed: The nosebleed that comes from deep in the nose and flows down the back of the mouth and throat even if the patient is sitting or standing. Obviously, if the patient is lying down, even the anterior nosebleeds seem to flow in both directions, especially if the patient is coughing or blowing his nose.
Nevertheless, it is important to try to make the distinction since posterior nosebleeds are more severe and almost always require the physicians care. Posterior nosebleeds are more likely to occur in older people, persons with high blood pressure, and in cases of injury to the nose or face.
Nosebleeds in children are almost always of the anterior type. Anterior nosebleeds are common in dry climates or during the winter months when the dry air parches the nasal membranes so that they crust, crack, and bleed. This can be prevented if you will place a bit of lubricating cream or ointment about the size of a pea on the end of your fingertip and then rub it up inside the nose; especially on the middle portion (the septum).
I recommend using Neosporin OTC, or Bactroban/ Mucopiren Ointment, Up to three applications a day may be needed, but usually every night at bed time is enough.
If the nosebleeds persist, you should see your doctor, who may recommend cautery to the blood vessel that is causing the trouble.
To stop an Anterior Nosebleed
- Pinch all the soft parts of the nose together between your thumb and two fingers.
- Press firmly toward the face compressing the pinched parts of the nose against the bones of the face.
- Hold it for 5 minutes(timed by a clock)
- Keep head higher than the level of the heart-sit up or lie with head elevated.
- Apply ice (crushed in a plastic bag or washcloth) to nose and cheeks.
- If Re-bleeding occurs Call your doctor
When to call the doctor or go to a hospital emergency room:
- If bleeding ID Rapid or if blood loss is large
- If you feel weak or faint, from blood loss