This type of bleeding is known as epistaxis. It is caused because the nose has a large number of tiny blood vessels that bleed easily. “In general, epistaxis is a benign process easy to resolve, although it sometimes requires the attention of an Otolaryngologist,” explains Julio Cachay, Internist at Clínica Ricardo Palma.
There are many common causes, such as for nasal trauma, deviations of the septum and wounds from scratching the nose hard. “Also due to dryness of the nasal mucosa, exposure to chemicals or fumes, sudden changes of height and severe rhinitis caused by infections or allergies”, advises Cachay.
The epistaxis can be easily treated at home; however, if bleeding lasts longer, it is abundant and continuous you should seek medical help.
How to act when nosebleed happens
According to the specialist, treatment begins at home if it is an event of anterior epistaxis where bleeding occurs through the nasal cavities. First, you have to lean the person forward to avoid swallowing blood and breathing through the mouth.
“Then, the nose should be pressed for a minimum of 5 minutes to stop bleeding”, explains Julio Cachay. “If pressing is not enough, you should stop it with cotton and hydrogen peroxide and keep it for an hour. If it continues bleeding, go immediately to the emergency room”, he says. But, never lie down while bleeding and try not to suck or blow your nose hard.
Preventive measures in case of bleeding
Whenever you blow your nose, do it gently and use a soft tissue; do not blow hard or scratch your nose. Your doctor may recommend a humidifier to moisten dry air indoors. You can also prevent that your nasal cavities dry during the winter using lubricants, such as an antibiotic ointment. Likewise, when you practice sports that may injure your nose, wear an appropriate safety cover. You might be worried about sudden nosebleeds, but now you know what to do!
Dr. Julio Cachay
Internist at Clínica Ricardo Palma