Recurring Nosebleed Solutions

March 04, 2024 | Patient Education

Nosebleeds are a common condition, with about Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Nosebleeds American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Go to Source 60% of Americans experiencing at least one “bloody nose” in their lifetime, most often during childhood or later adulthood.

As a Board-Certified Otolaryngologist (ENT) in Houston, Texas, Dr. Shawn Allen is experienced in treating nosebleeds and the underlying conditions that can cause them. Keep reading and watch the video to learn why nosebleeds occur, how to treat them, and when they can indicate a more serious medical problem.

What Causes Nosebleeds?

The nasal passages inside the nose are lined with delicate blood vessels. Nosebleeds, also known as epistaxis, happen when one of the small blood vessels ruptures. There are many things that can cause this, such as dry air, allergies or sinus conditions, trauma, medications that impact clotting and bleeding risk, genetic disorders that impact bleeding or cause abnormal blood vessel formation, or general irritation or inflammation impacting the nose.

How to Treat Nosebleeds

Most nosebleeds originate in the front of the nasal septum, right below the nasal bones. Placing firm, gentle pressure directly below the nasal bones can often stop the flow of an anterior nosebleed.

If you feel blood running down the back of your throat, it may be a posterior nosebleed that originates further back in the nasal system. In this case, Afrin® nasal spray can be used to help stop the bleeding. While Dr. Allen does not typically recommend this medication for nasal congestion, it can be helpful to restrict the blood vessels during a nosebleed. Spray the Afrin in the affected nostril, or both nostrils, and lean forward.

Keep in mind that stress and anxiety can elevate blood pressure and make nosebleeds worse. Placing an ice pack on the back of the neck can help lower heart rate and blood pressure.

Finally, another step you can add to your nosebleed treatment is a warm nasal saline wash. Heat distilled water to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit (take care that the water is warm, not hot) and mix with a saline packet such as NeilMed® solution. Then use a NeilMed bottle or neti pot to gently rinse the nasal passages. This will help remove any large blood clots. If you use Afrin after this, it may be more effective because it can more easily reach the source of bleeding.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Nosebleeds

While nosebleeds are not usually a medical emergency, they can be an uncomfortable interruption to daily life. However, there are cases when you should seek medical attention for nosebleeds. If bleeding is severe and home remedies do not work, you should seek emergency care to prevent dangerous blood loss.

If you have frequent, recurring, or severe nosebleeds, make an appointment with an experienced ENT like Dr. Allen. Your doctor can use nasal endoscopy to evaluate the cause of frequent nosebleeds. Underlying conditions such as nasal polyps can be treated to prevent nosebleeds and other symptoms.

Suffering from Frequent Nosebleeds?

Contact us to schedule your appointment.

1 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Nosebleeds. Available: Accessed February 6, 2024

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