Parents know that virtually every child will get a nosebleed at some point. For the most part, nosebleeds are not dangerous but there are potentially serious reasons for a nosebleed to begin, so the person experiencing this should be monitored.
There are two basic types of nosebleed. The far more common of the two is the anterior nosebleed. Anterior simply means, front, so this describes a nosebleed where the bleeding originates from the front of the nose. The septum of the nose, which divides the two nostrils, has many blood vessels close to the surface. This makes them susceptible to breaking for a number of reasons.
Causes of an anterior nosebleed
Children are far more likely to experience anterior nosebleeds, and it’s clear why. The two most common causes for an anterior nosebleed, nose picking and impacts to the face, are much more likely to occur with children. Adults will also experience these nosebleeds, but more often from causes like dry, winter air, car accidents, and taking blood-thinning medication.
Treating an anterior nosebleed
- • Sit up to make sure your head is above your heart. This inhibits blood flow.
- • Tilt your face towards the floor, not the ceiling. You want the blood to flow out of your nose not down your throat.
- • Pinch the front of the nose for a few minutes then stop to see if the bleeding has subsided.
- • Repeat this process for up to 20 minutes.
- • If a nosebleed continues for more than 20 minutes, see a doctor immediately.
- • Have someone else drive in case the loss of blood causes lightheadedness.
Posterior nosebleeds affect the back of the nose and are much more serious. These will often not stop on their own and the person will need to visit an otolaryngologist. Thankfully, posterior nosebleeds are not nearly as frequent. Elderly tend to be the ones affected, as well as those with high blood pressure.