A nosebleed, known as epistaxis, occurs when blood vessels in the nasal passage become damaged. Most nosebleeds aren’t serious and will stop on their own with some basic first aid. If you have a child or have nosebleeds yourself, you may wonder when you should seek medical treatment.
Causes of Nosebleeds
Most nosebleeds occur due to trauma or an underlying medical condition. They can also be a side effect of certain medications. Epistaxis is one of the most common ENT emergencies that present to the emergency department or primary care clinic. There are some common causes of minor nosebleeds.
- Dryness due to climate or altitude changes
- Picking or blowing the nose
- A foreign body in the nose
- Nasal allergies
When to Seek Treatment
There are times when you should seek medical treatment for a nosebleed. Seek medical attention if the bleeding is more severe than expected or you’re having trouble breathing. Other times to seek medical attention include:
- Following an injury involving head trauma, such as a car accident or an injury at Jasmine Park
- If the bleeding won’t stop after 30 minutes of applying compression
- If the nosebleed is occurring in a child younger than two years
- If the nosebleed results in swallowing a lot of blood or you’re feeling weak
In these cases, it’s important to not try to drive yourself. Call an ambulance or have a loved one drive you. Only 10% of nosebleeds are severe enough to warrant medical attention.
For less serious nosebleeds, there are basic first-aid tactics you can use to stop the bleeding.
How to stop nosebleeds:
- Pinch your nose. Pinch both nostrils close and breathe through your mouth for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Gently blow your nose to clear clotted blood and spray a nasal decongestant.
- Sit upright and lean forward to help avoid swallowing blood.
Keep your head above your heart during this timeframe, and avoid picking or blowing your nose afterward to prevent the nosebleed from restarting.
If you’re experiencing frequent nosebleeds, you should consult a doctor to ensure the nosebleeds aren’t stemming from an underlying medical condition. To talk to a doctor about nosebleeds, contact Lake Jackson ENT to schedule an appointment.