9. How to Stop a Nosebleed

Nosebleeds are usually a childhood problem, a scary, but minor bout with broken blood vessels just inside the nose. They’re caused by a cold, frequent nose blowing and picking, allergies, a dry environment that parches the membrane linings, or a punch or other blow to the nose.

But not all nosebleeds are simply a nuisance. Some are serious, such as bleeding from deep within the nose (called a posterior nosebleed) that’s profuse and hard to stop. This type usually afflicts the elderly and it’s most commonly caused by:

  1. Hardening of nasal blood vessels.

  2. High blood pressure.

  3. Anticoagulant drugs.

  4. Primary bleeding disorders (like hemophilia).

  5. Tumor in the nose.

A doctor should always treat a posterior nosebleed. In fact, any nosebleed that can’t be stopped with the procedure listed below or occurs again and again calls for medical attention. It may require cauterization of the bleeding vessel or nasal packing. (Cauterization destroys tissue by burning it with heat, chemicals, or electricity.)

Although there are lots of ideas about how to treat minor nosebleeds, the following procedure usually works.

  1. Sit with your head leaning forward.

  2. Pinch the nostrils shut, using your thumb and forefinger to gently squeeze the nose’s midsection.

  3. Hold for 20 minutes without stopping. Use a clock to time this. Breathe through your mouth while you do this. Repeat a second time, if necessary. If a second attempt fails, get medical care.

  4. For the next 24 hours, make sure your head is elevated above the level of your heart.

  5. Also, wait 24 hours before blowing your nose, lifting heavy objects, or exercising strenuously.

Chapter 1
  1. Fast Relief for Everyday Health Problems