Nose bleeds (epistaxis) can be an alarming bloody mess. In fact, some noses bleed for no apparent reason, dripping blood onto the nose owner’s shirt. Yep, causing stains that are difficult remove.
What causes your shirt staining nosebleed can be as simple as environmental factors up to a symptom of a serious health condition. Relax, most often the cause for a bloody nose is not life threatening.
Nosebleeds are more prevalent in the winter months because of that season’s low humidity outdoors and heated dry air indoors. This “absence of moisture” condition causes the lining of your nose to dry out.
Dry nose lining is easily irritated, resulting in bleeding of your surface nose blood vessels. Nasal irritation may be caused by:
- nose picking
- common cold
- allergic rhinitis
- whooping cough
- chemical irritants
- repetitive sneezing
- blowing your nose too hard
- overuse of decongestant nasal sprays
Other factors that may be causing your nose to bleed:
- very dry air
- cocaine use
- nasal polyps
- vitamin K deficiency
- not enough vitamin C
- very cold temperatures
- isotretinoin ~ acne medication
- use of blood thinners ~ Coumadin (warfarin), aspirin
- altitude changes ~ flying, scuba diving, mountain driving
Frequent nosebleeds may mean you have a more serious health problem. Some conditions for which nose bleeds are a symptom include:
- liver cirrhosis
- rheumatic fever
- aplastic anemia
- high blood pressure
- dengue hemorrhagic fever
- primary thrombocythemia
- Wegener’s granulomatosis
- myelodysplastic syndrome
- Hansen’s Disease ~ leprosy
- nasal tumors ~ cancerous/non-cancerous
- blood clotting disorder ~ von Willebrand disease, hemophilia
Inexplicable recurrent nose bleeds need to be brought to your docs attention.
The procedure for how you stop your nose from bleeding is as follows:
- sit down with a slight forward lean ~ don’t lie down
- gently squeeze the soft part of your nose together
- breath through your mouth
- keep your nostrils squeezed for 10 minutes
Avoid sniffing or blowing your nose for the next few hours.
DO NOT lean your head back to stop the blood flow ~ causes you to swallow your nasal blood with a possible outcome of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Nor try to stop it by packing your bloody nose with gauze ~ one cause of toxic shock syndrome.
You might find bloody nose relief by keeping your house cooler and using a humidifier during the winter months. Also, using a nasal saline spray or a water soluble nasal gel may help in preventing future nosebleeds.