Nosebleeds – what to do?

Nosebleeds - what to do?

When it comes to nosebleeds, the first thing to do is stay calm – it usually looks worse than it is. The sufferer should tilt their head slightly forward while sitting or standing, preferably over a sink, and pinch their nostrils with their thumb and forefinger for several minutes. Read here what else you can do to stop nosebleeds when they become dangerous and why they occur in the first place.

This helps against nosebleeds.

As an alternative, you can use a nasal tampon made of toilet paper or a paper handkerchief: Twist this into a two-centimetre-long, pencil-thick roll, grease it with Vaseline or skin cream and insert the tamponade into the front section of the nose. This will squeeze the bleeding from the inside – for about ten minutes.

Caution: Do not tilt your head back as this will cause blood to run down the throat wall and be swallowed, causing nausea. If the person concerned is unconscious, the blood could also enter the respiratory tract.


Stop nosebleeds: more tips.

Besides that, you can try some other – more or less recognized – tips:

  1. Place a damp washcloth (alternatively, an excellent pack or snow) on the back of the neck: It is unclear whether the resulting narrowing of the neck vessels also reflexively restricts the blood supply to the nose. But it doesn’t hurt either.
  2. A tip from grandma’s treasure chest is to put cellulose or blotting paper under your tongue or between your upper lip and gums or to suck on a slice of lemon  – the effectiveness has not been proven, but it’s worth a try.
  3. The haemostatic effect of the shepherd’s purse is recognized. Do you ever get nosebleeds? Then prepare yourself an infusion of shepherd’s purse  (leave a tablespoon in a cup of hot water for ten minutes and strain) and store it in the fridge or fill something into a dropper. You can sniff the solution or soak a twisted tissue and insert it into the affected nostril if necessary.
  4. Are you convinced of homoeopathy? Then try Hamamelis or Natrum nitricum  (D6, three globules over two years; first three times every two hours, then every five to six hours). If nosebleeds constantly plague you, try to get this under control with Phosphorus D12 (three globules once a day for ten days).
  5. Try acupressure to stop the bleeding: Firmly pinch the tip of your little finger on the non-nosebleed side for 20 to 30 seconds. A rubber band that you wrap around it for a maximum of half a minute has a comparable effect – many swear by it.

By the way, The frequently recommended medical “sclerosing” of the bleeding site should not be used as the first measure. This also creates a wound that can become infected and also bleed.

Behaviour after nosebleeds: how to prevent?

Many sufferers report that their nose seems “irritated” after a nosebleed and that bleeding attacks occur repeatedly in the following days. The explanation is simple: as with an injury on the skin, scabs form here, too, which protect the mucous membrane until the wound has healed. However, this is not very resistant, so even small stimuli are enough for the crust to tear off or open again.

There are some tips to prevent nosebleeds, especially right after the nosebleed:

  • Give blood vessels time to heal: Avoid blowing your nose for a day or two.
  • Take care of your nasal mucosa after bleeding and as a preventive measure, especially if you are prone to nosebleeds. Numerous preparations on the market keep the mucous membrane moist and supple and thus more resistant – creams and ointments (you can apply them with your finger or a cotton swab), drops and sprays. Possible preparations include baby or special nasal oil, nasal healing spray, and nasal ointment with dexapanthenol or salt. Nasal rinses with a saline solution (ideally using a nasal douche ) can also help to care for the mucous membranes.
  • Ensure there is sufficient humidity indoors – a room humidifier, evaporation vessels on the radiators, large green plants, or possibly wet towels next to your bed will help you with this.
  • Drink enough! This helps keep the nasal mucous membranes moist.
  • In addition, regular activities that strengthen the circulation also reduce the frequency of nosebleeds – for example, endurance sports or visits to the sauna. And by the way, you do something for your immune system and well-being!

Tip: If you suffer from severe nosebleeds, you should have your doctor clarify whether there is a serious cause.

How does a nosebleed occur?

The mucous membrane in the nose is traversed by numerous small vessels so that the blood flowing through it can warm up the air we breathe. If blood suddenly escapes from one or both nostrils – technically known as epistaxis – the cause is almost always an injury to the mucous membrane.

At one point in the front area of ​​the nasal septum (locus kieselbachii), many vessels close to the surface can be injured quite quickly. A poking finger or blowing your nose hard if your mucous membrane is dehydrated, for example, after a cold, is then enough to start bleeding.

What are the causes of nosebleeds?

Violence can also lead to nosebleeds: a punch, an accidental bump, an accident resulting in a broken nose, or a foreign body that has found its way into the nose due to the child’s urge to explore.

Rare causes of frequent, easily triggered and severe nosebleeds are:

  • severe high blood pressure
  • certain vascular inflammations (vasculitis)
  • coagulation disorders
  • Drug side effects (anticoagulants, glucocorticoid nasal sprays, and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors)
  • a (hereditary) Osler disease

In the latter case, blood vessels widen (telangiectasia) and are associated with increased vulnerability.

In addition, there is a family susceptibility to developing nosebleeds, even with minor stimuli, without a pathological cause being found. This often shows up in childhood – annoying but harmless.

It’s also not uncommon for children ‘s nosebleeds to return quickly after the bleeding stops. Normal romping around is often enough, during which the pressure in the vessels increases briefly so that the nosebleeds start again. They also like to pick their noses to nibble off the bark – another possible trigger for renewed nosebleeds.

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