Have you ever been punched in the face so hard that you noticed blood coming out of your nostrils? Am sure it was frightening and confusing but it isn’t usually a sign of something serious because it occurs as a result of ruptured blood vessels in the nostril. The nose is lined with blood vessels, hairs and mucus which help to keep air moist and trap dirt entering the nose. The medical name for nose bleed is epistaxis. During a nose bleed, blood can flow from one or both nostrils depending on the impact made on the nose. It can also be light or heavy and can last for 15 minutes or more.
Cause of nose bleeds. Nose bleeds can affect anyone irrespective of age, sex or status. There are some common causes of nose bleeds you should be aware of include;
- Picking your nose
- Blowing your nose very hard
- Irritations and injury to the nose
- A heavy blow to the nose
- Change in temperature o humidity causing your nose to be dry and cracked
- Recent nasal surgery
- Hardened arteries
What to do
- Sit down quietly and tilt your head up for a few minutes
- Avoid facing down immediately after detecting the blood flow
- Do not blow your nose or try to sniff out blood flowing from it
- Use your hands to firmly pinch the soft part of your nose just above your nostrils for at least 10-15 minutes
- Lean forward and not backward and try to breathe through your mouth thus will help to prevent back flow of blood down your throat.
- Get an ice pack immediately and place it on the bridge of your nose. Likewise, a clean cloth wrapped with ice cubes can do a great job
- Do not lie down as this will further worsen bleeding
- It is crucial to stay upright to reduce blood pressure in the blood vessels to reduce further bleeding
- If bleeding doesn’t stop after an hour, you should be heading to a hospital nearest to you.
Preventing nose bleeds. The following can help stop nose bleeds from time to time.
- Avoid the bad habit of picking your nose often
- Avoid blowing your nose too hard especially during extreme cold temperatures e.g. Harmattan.
- Always wear protective clothes e.g. during harmattan wear heard warmers and gloves
- Keep your homes humidified during extreme weather conditions
- Apply petroleum jelly (Vaseline) inside your nostrils to keep it moist and prevent breakage
- Wear protective gadgets like head guard when participating in outdoor activities or sports.