Although nosebleeds are usually harmless and easily controlled, it may look like a quart of blood is coming from your nose! Try not to worry — nosebleeds are almost always easy to stop.
Stopping the Gush
Try these simple tips to stop your nosebleed:
• Get some tissues or a damp cloth to catch the blood.
• Sit or stand so your head is above your heart.
• Tilt your head forward and pinch the soft part of your nose (the nostrils) together just below the bony center part of your nose. Applying pressure helps stop the blood flow and the nosebleed will usually stop with 10 minutes of steady pressure — don’t keep checking to see if the bleeding has stopped.
If you get a nosebleed, don’t blow your nose. Doing so can cause additional nosebleeds. Also, don’t tilt your head back. This common practice will cause blood to run into your throat. This can make you cough or choke, and if you swallow a lot of blood, you might begin vomiting.
If you’ve tried the steps above twice and the bleeding continues after the second attempt, you’ll need to see your school nurse or a doctor.
Once you’ve stopped the initial nosebleed, don’t lift heavy objects or do other activities that cause you to strain, and try not to blow your nose for 24 hours.
Now that your nosebleed is over, let’s take a look at what a nosebleed is and what can cause it.
• Whenever you blow your nose (especially when you have a cold), you should blow gently into a soft tissue. Don’t blow forcefully or pick your nose.
• Your doctor may recommend a humidifier to moisten your indoor air. You can also prevent your nasal passages from becoming too dry in winter months by using lubricants such as an antibiotic ointment before going to bed at night. Apply a pea-sized dab to a cotton swab and gently rub just the cotton tip up inside each nostril, especially on the middle part of the nose (called the nasal septum). Some doctors prescribe saline (salt water) drops for the same purpose.
• Wear protective athletic equipment when participating in sports that could cause injury to the nose.
An occasional nosebleed may make you worry, but there’s no need to panic — now you know what to do!
Every day, glands in the lining of your nose, throat, airways, stomach, and intestinal tract produce about 1 to 2 quarts of mucus — a thick, wet substance that moistens these areas and helps trap and destroy foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses before they can get into your body and cause infection. Normally, you don’t notice the mucus from your nose because it mixes with saliva and drips harmlessly down the back of your throat to be swallowed gradually and continuously throughout the day.
Only when your body produces more mucus than usual or the mucus is thicker than normal does it become more noticeable. Excess mucus can come out the front of your nose in the form of a runny nose. When the mucus runs down the back of the nose to the throat, it’s called postnasal drip.
Do you suffer ear, nose and throat problems.
Dr. Troost is a ENT specialist in medical and surgical management of ear, nose and throat problems. He also focuses on problems with snoring and sleep apnea