Almost everyone has had a nosebleed at some point in their life and knows how uncomfortable it can be. It always happens at the wrong time and in the worst cases you're out and about and don't have a sink in the immediate vicinity or you don't have handkerchiefs with you.
In this article, we will answer the most important questions that come up when it comes to nosebleeds. We will also introduce you to some classic household remedies that can help against nosebleeds.
the essentials in brief
- The scientific term for nosebleeds is "epistaxis".
- Nosebleeds can have many different causes, such as high blood pressure or dry nasal mucosa.
- An important measure: always bend your head forward, otherwise the blood can run into your stomach and throat.
Background: What you should know about nosebleeds
Before we get to the home remedies that are said to help against nosebleeds, we will first answer common questions that many people ask themselves.
What are reasons for nosebleeds?
There are several reasons for nosebleeds. There are very sensitive vessels in the nose that can tear or burst. When that happens, you have a nosebleed. A cause for nosebleeds can of course be external influences, such as a slap in the face, nose picking or a fall. These external influences can rupture the vessels in the nose.
Nosebleeds can be pretty annoying, especially when you're on the go. (Image Source: Brittany Colette / Unsplash)
Another common cause of nosebleeds is an already damaged or irritated nasal mucosa. It's enough if you blow your nose a lot because of a cold. Especially in extreme weather, such as in very cold or overheated rooms in summer and winter. Even allergy sufferers can experience irritated mucous membranes. (1)
Of course, nosebleeds can also be an accompanying symptom of an illness. Most nosebleeds are harmless, but if it happens frequently without a clear reason, it's important to see a doctor. (2.6)
What not to do if you have a nosebleed?
There are many tips and tricks against nosebleeds. And if you get a nosebleed in the company of others, everyone tries to help you with various advice. But not all the advice you hear from time to time is really helpful. We've picked out a few well-known rumors that are common but not helpful.
Never tilt your head back!
The first thing you shouldn't do when you have a nosebleed is tilt your head back. This means that the blood does not flow out of the nose, but may flow into the throat and stomach and this can lead to nausea and nausea.
This also means that you shouldn't pull your nose up. In addition, you should not insert cotton wool, handkerchiefs or toilet paper into your nose, as these can stick to the open area. If you then remove them from your nose, you may rupture the blood vessels again. (2.3)
How can you prevent nosebleeds?
Most of the time, the cause of nosebleeds is simply dry nasal mucosa. This can be prevented with various tricks. Also, a general rule is not to blow your nose as often unless you have a cold.
The first important step in not drying out the mucous membranes is not to dry out yourself. By that we mean: drink a lot! This is good advice in general when it comes to health, but it also applies to our topic. A balanced diet is also beneficial for the nasal mucous membranes. It is also advisable to stop smoking, as this also contributes to drier mucous membranes. (4)
Nosebleeds can increase in winter. Due to the constant heating of the rooms, the humidity is very low. (Image Source: Timothy Eberly / Unsplash)
There are also nasal ointments or oils that are helpful for dry nasal mucosa. Otherwise, you should also pay attention to your surroundings. If you live in a dry region and suffer from frequent nosebleeds, getting a humidifier can help. Regular (but not too frequent) nasal cleaning with a nasal douche is also useful if you suffer from dry mucous membranes.(5)
How much nosebleed is normal?
Every second adult has had a nosebleed. This can be due to various reasons. However, nosebleeds can also be a symptom of a serious illness. That's why it's important to see a doctor if you're having frequent nosebleeds.
If it occurs infrequently, there is little to worry about at first. However, it is recommended that you make an appointment with your doctor if you have nosebleeds several times a week, or if you suddenly start having nosebleeds more often, even though you didn't have a nosebleed before.(6)
If you have a nosebleed that hasn't stopped after 20 minutes, you should contact a doctor as soon as possible or ideally call the emergency room directly. Depending on how much blood you've already lost, it can be dangerous. Children with nosebleeds should contact the emergency services within ten minutes. (2.6)
Is nosebleed dangerous in children?
Nosebleeds can also occur in children. Most of the time it is harmless and the reasons are a dry nasal mucosa or even just by picking your nose. The classic home remedies and tricks, which we will present to you in more detail later, usually help.
Nosebleeds in children can be dangerous if the bleeding does not stop quickly. It is recommended to call 911 after 10 minutes if the child's nosebleeds have not stopped.(2,5,7)
Nosebleeds can also occur during sleep. The same rules apply here as with normal nosebleeds. As long as it doesn't happen too frequently and for too long, there's usually nothing to worry about.
What to do with nosebleeds and blood thinners?
Another cause of nosebleeds can be blood-thinning medications, such as those taken by people with high blood pressure. Because these drugs lead to an increased tendency to bleed.
High blood pressure can be a cause of nosebleeds.
If a person taking such medication develops a nosebleed, they should call a doctor or an ambulance within 10 minutes. A doctor can then take the right steps and will probably obliterate the vessels to stop the bleeding.(3) To prevent nosebleeds, you can only use the tips already mentioned here, such as nasal douches, humidifiers and drinking a lot.
Can you get nosebleeds from stress?
As already explained, nosebleeds can have different causes. We asked ourselves whether stress can also be one of these causes. The answer is yes! Indirectly, stress can be a reason for nosebleeds. If you are very stressed, high blood pressure increases, which can be a clear trigger for nosebleeds.
This usually occurs in adults and can of course be combined with other causes. If the nasal mucous membranes are generally already dry, for example in winter when the heated rooms have particularly dry air, this, together with a lot of stress, can lead to nosebleeds more quickly.(8,9)
Nosebleeds what to do: The best tips & tricks against nosebleeds
Now that we have answered the most important questions, we are now dealing with possible remedies that can help against nosebleeds. Here we have a small table with the best tips and tricks for prevention and acute nosebleeds.
|Prevention Tips||Tips for acute nosebleeds|
|Drink plenty of fluids and eat a balanced diet||Cold washcloth or cool pack on the neck|
|nasal ointments or oils||Inhale essential oils|
|regular nasal cleanings||slight pressure on the nostrils|
Which vitamins for nosebleeds?
Another cause of nosebleeds can be a vitamin K deficiency. So if you have nosebleeds a little more often, vitamin K may be able to help against the problem. Products with vitamin K can therefore be helpful.
Another vitamin that can be useful in preventing nosebleeds is the popular vitamin C. How often do you hear about any problem, such as a lack of nutrition, that it is due to a vitamin C deficiency. Well, that can also be the case with nosebleeds. Because of the deficiency, collagen can no longer be built up well and the fine capillaries become brittle (3,10).
However, before turning to any medical products, it is always best to check with your doctor first, especially if you are already taking medications such as blood thinners. Because there are also remedies where nosebleeds can be a side effect.
Treat acute nosebleeds with home remedies
We have already explained a few things to you about preventing nosebleeds. But now it's about tips and tricks that you can use directly in acute nosebleeds to stop the bleeding.
A very helpful trick to stop nosebleeds is cold. Everyone knows the most well-known trick, which is simply placing a cold washcloth or ice pack on the sufferer's neck. But not only a cold rag in the tease can help. An icy footbath or a cold cloth on the bridge of your nose can also help stop nosebleeds.
The reason why cold is so effective against nosebleeds is relatively simple. The sudden exposure to cold causes the blood vessels in the head to constrict. This promotes hemostasis.(10,11)
Another simple way to prevent nosebleeds is to gently pinch your nostrils with your thumb and forefinger. This can help the bleeding stop faster. It's especially useful if you're out at the moment and don't have any helpful items like a cool pack handy. However, you should make sure that you do not tilt your head backwards, but slightly forward and sit upright.(2,6,7)
Essential oils can also help with nosebleeds. These can be used to prevent nosebleeds or directly in acute nosebleeds. Certain nasal ointments and oils can be used to prevent bleeding in the first place. The selection here is very large, which is why it is best to get advice from someone like a pharmacist.
If you have an acute nosebleed, there are also simple household remedies that can help. Examples include lavender oil, vinegar, or a sliced onion. This is said to be inhaled and its intense smell is said to help contract the hole in the blood vessel.(5:11)
When it comes to nosebleeds, there can be many triggers. Most of the time it is completely harmless and has simple reasons, such as a dry nasal mucosa. It is only when it occurs particularly frequently or lasts longer than ten minutes that there is cause for concern. In these cases, you should always consult a doctor, as the nosebleed could be a symptom of an illness.
The old home remedies that most of us know from our childhood still help with acute nosebleeds today. The classic is the cool pack on the neck or the slight pinching of the nostrils. It is also important to always remain calm and wait a bit, because the nosebleeds usually stop on their own.
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