Nosebleeds can be frightening at times, but most of the time they are harmless. There are a number of reasons why your nose may begin to bleed, some include:
- A scratch on the inside of your nose
- High altitude
- Dry air
- A stuffy or blocked nose (often cause by a cold or flu)
There are common misconceptions about how to handle nosebleeds. One common belief is that you should tilt your head back to stop the flow of blood. While this may prevent blood from leaving the nose, this is not the proper way to stop a nosebleed. Doing this will direct the flow of blood to the back of your throat and may eventually cause nausea or vomiting.
To properly treat a nosebleed, first make sure you are upright and not lying down. Lean forward and pinch just below the bridge of your nose (not lower down the nose). After 5 minutes have passed you can check to see if the bleeding has stopped, if not continue pinching and checking periodically until it stops.
If the bleeding is heavy and persists after a long period of time, you are on blood thinning medicine, or the nosebleed was caused by head trauma, it is a good idea to seek professional medical attention. Once the bleeding has stopped your nose may feel itchy or irritated but it important to not blow your nose as this may cause it start bleeding again.