Body Care

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From time to time -- whether from fatigue, stress, illiness, or aging, our body uses to pain to signal us that it is having probems.

The four elements of our Body Care guide are:
/ Health / Complaints /

Nose Bleeds

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There are two basic types of nosebleeds: anterior and posterior. Anterior nosebleeds, which are caused by broken blood vessels in the front of the nose, are common in children and are often caused by nose-picking or severe hits to the nose. Posterior nosebleeds account for only about 10% of nosebleeds (most commonly seen in adults with hypertension), and are caused when blood vessels break in the back of the nose. Posterior nosebleeds can also be caused by arteriosclerosis, a genetic disorder known as HHT, or a tumor. The latter of the two are not common, so donít worry. However, if nosebleeds seem to be suddenly happening often and are difficult to stop, it may signal a tumor and a specialist should be consulted.

Anterior nosebleeds are easily treated at home, posterior nosebleeds usually need to be handled by a physician. How do you tell which is which? If the bleeding seems to be coming from only one nostril, it is most likely anterior. However, if the bleeding is exceptionally heavy and is coming out of both nostrils, it probably is a posterior nosebleed.

Here are some helpful tips to stop nosebleeds, especially in children:

  • Sit up in a chair and lean forward. Leaning back will only cause the blood to trickle down the back of the throat, which will probably cause an upset stomach later.
  • Squeeze the nose between the index finger and thumb for 10 minutes, without letting go. After 10 minutes, if the bleeding has not stopped, blow the clot material out of the nose, and squeeze again.
  • Place a cold cloth on the back of the neck if the bleeding is heavy, this constricts blood vessels and slows bleeding down.
  • If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes, consult a physician.
  • If bleeding appears exceptionally heavy (when pressure is not applied, blood runs out of the nose in steady stream), consult a physician.
  • A physician may prescribe packing or cauterization to stop the bleed.

  • Once the bleeding has stopped, refrain from nose blowing, picking, or very dry locations for a few hours, or the bleeding may start up again.

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