Nosebleeds can be frightening. However, in most cases they are not a cause for worry and can be handled easily at home. Our step-by-step guide will tell you what exactly to do if you have one.
What to do during a nosebleed:
Step 1: Sit and lean forward
Contrary to common practice, lying down or tilting your head back isn’t the best thing to do, as it will cause you to swallow blood, which might make you vomit.
The best thing to do is sit down and lean forward. This position allows the blood to drain out rather than run into your throat. Use a bowl to catch the blood flow. Also keep tissues or handkerchiefs handy to dab blood on the face or hands.
Step 2: To stop the bleeding
Pinch the nostrils together with your thumb and index finger for about 5 minutes. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped, squeeze for another 5 minutes. As you’re doing this, breathe through your mouth.
If pinching your nose for that long doesn’t help, then visit a doctor immediately.
What to do after the bleeding stops:
Remain calm and resting for a good amount of time. Thirty minutes to one hour is certainly recommended.
Drink some water to help clean your throat. As said earlier, blood in your throat can cause nausea and vomiting, in fact it can even lead to diarrhoea. Water can also help if the cause of bleeding is dehydration or dry heat, which often triggers nose bleeds. Click here to read our article on water intake.
Try to prevent any possible irritation to the nose. Do not pick your nose, avoid blowing your nose and sneezing for 24 hours after a nosebleed, as these actions might trigger off another nosebleed.
Don’t clean the inside of your nose after the bleeding has stopped, doing this can disrupt the clotting, triggering bleeding again. Gently clean the outside of your nose with warm water and a soft cloth.
Try and avoid exposure to dry air as it can contribute to the problem. In case of dry weather, lightly splash warm water around your nostrils every few hours the next few days to keep the inner linings of your nose moist.
When to call a doctor
- If the nosebleed does not stop after 10 minutes of home treatment.
- If you have repeated episodes of nosebleeds.
- If you’re taking blood thinners such as aspirin or have a bleeding disorder.
- If your nose bleeds after you have suffered a severe injury.
Photographs via sxc.hu and Creative Commons
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