The nose is part of the body full of blood vessels (vascular) and is found in a vulnerable spot on the face. Consequently, any facial trauma can result in injury and nose bleeds. The bleeding may be intense, or only a slight impediment. Nosebleeds can happen suddenly when the membranes are dried out. This is common in dry climates, or during the Harmattan season when the atmosphere is dry and accompanied by harsh winds.
You are more predisposed to a nose bleed if you take drugs that prevent blood clots like aspirin, warfarin, clopidogrel, or any anti-inflammatory medication. In this scenario, even a slight injury could lead to major bleeding.
The prevalence of nosebleeds is higher during the colder season when upper respiratory infections are more regular, and the temperature and humidity fluctuate more dramatically.
Causes of Nosebleeds
It can be frightening the very first time this occurs. You look at the mirror and notice that apparently out of nowhere, for no obvious reason, your nose is bleeding. You don’t recall any injuries or scratching. It looks like there’s blood everywhere. You feel naturally upset and stressed out. You may start to think of desperately calling your doctor or rushing off to the nearest pharmacy. There are several possible reasons of a nosebleed, most of which are not serious. Starting with the most common, they comprise:
- Colds and allergies: This causes puffiness, and irritation within the nose and can result in unprompted bleeding.
- Injury: You can get a bloody nose from picking your nose, or placing something into it, or simply blowing it too hard. A nosebleed may also happen if you are hit in the nose by a ball or other objects or fall and hit your nose.
- Dryness or irritating fumes: If you live in a dry area, the lining of your nose can become dry, making nose bleeds more possible. If you are often exposed to noxious fumes (luckily, an uncommon event), they may cause nosebleeds, also.
- Anatomical issues: Any unusual structure inside the nose can result in crusting and bleeding.
- Unusual growths: Any unusual tissue growth in the nose can cause a nose bleed. Although most of these developments are benign and not cancerous, they still should be treated quickly.
- Strange blood clotting: Whatever interferes with blood clotting can cause nosebleeds. Drugs like aspirin can change blood clotting process enough to result in bleeding. Blood diseases, including hemophilia, additionally can trigger nosebleeds.
- Chronic illness: If you have a long-term sickness, or in need of additional oxygen or other drugs that can dry out or change the lining of the nose, you are likely to have nosebleeds.
Relax, take a deep breath. Nosebleeds are almost never dangerous, and the blood loss is more often than not minimal. There are many misconceptions and folktales about the best way to treat nosebleeds. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts especially during the harmattan season.
Do’s. . .
- If you get a nosebleed, relax, take a seat and sit up forward. Sit upright and don’t lie down, because it is essential to keep your head above the level of your heart to reduce the bleeding. Leaning forward is additionally important, as it allows the blood drain out through the nose as opposed to down the throat.
- Hold the soft part of your nose in a pinch until the bleeding stops. This might take five to ten minutes. Putting an ice pack across the bridge of your nose may also be helpful.
- Don’t release the nose during this time to see if it’s still bleeding. If the bleeding does not stop, repeat the pinching. If after ten more minutes of pressure the bleeding hasn’t discontinued, visit your doctor.
Don’ts . . .
- Panic. You’ll only intensify the drama.
- Lie down or put your head back.
- Don’t put any objects, tissues, gauze, or anything into your nose to stop the bleeding.
When to Worry About Nosebleeds
Nosebleeds are almost never a reason to rush to the doctor. It might seem like you have lost a lot of blood, but this is seldom the true picture. If you wake up in the night with a big spot of blood on your pillow, don’t stress, it usually looks like more blood than is real. Unless you are feeling incredibly sick, this can wait until morning to seek medical attention.
Sometimes, a child or adult may swallow some blood during an episode. This can be quite irritating to the stomach and cause you to cough up blood. In this case, it is advisable to see the doctor immediately just in case this is a symptom of another illness. Also, nosebleed with a serious head ache or other symptoms should be referred to your doctor immediately.