How to Prevent Nosebleeds
Nosebleeds can be a common occurrence during the winter, thanks to dry air produced by indoor heating units. In most cases, they’re nothing more than a minor nuisance; however, in some instances, people can have difficulty getting the bleeding to stop. If you commonly suffer from this frustrating issue, learn how you can effectively treat and prevent nosebleeds.
Who’s Most at Risk?
Most of us will suffer from the occasional nose bleed from time to time. That said, some people are more prone to bleeding due to a number for varying factors. Older people tend to be more susceptible, because their mucous membrane are drier. People taking blood-thinning medications are also at a higher risk, along with those living in higher elevations where air tends to be less moist. Postmenopausal women can be especially at risk, since decreased estrogen increases bodily fluids.
Whatever the case, when noses start bleeding, the flow can range from a few drops to an out-of-control gusher. To hasten recovery, try the following doctor-recommended tactics:
- Tilt your head back and pinch the nostrils, applying firm pressure for approximately five minutes.
- Apply ice to help constrict blood vessels.
- Apply petroleum jelly to a cotton pad and insert it into the bleeding nostril to promote clotting.
When it comes to preventing recurring nosebleeds, moisture is key. You can substantially moisten your nasal passages by running a humidifier in every room of your home. It’s especially important to do this while you sleep, since you’ll be spending between seven to nine hours breathing through your nose. You can also reduce your risk by applying a dab of petroleum jelly to both sides of the septum at least two times a day.
When to Seek Help
Usually, nose bleeds subside after only a few minutes; however, in rare instances bleeding continues despite at-home intervention. In these cases, patients should seek medical attention. Most of the time, physicians will cauterize the blood vessel to stop the bleeding. Patients may also require further testing to determine the cause of blood clotting difficulties.