You don’t have to square off with Mike Tyson to suffer a nosebleed. The membranes in the nose are very thin, with a delicate network of blood vessels very near the surface. Dry air, allergies, or even blowing your nose too hard can irritate the lining in the nose, causing nosebleeds.
Because the nose contains so many blood vessels, it can bleed a lot in a hurry. But it usually looks a lot worse than it really is. That’s small comfort, however, when it’s your nose that’s doing the bleeding.
To stop nosebleeds fast, here’s what doctor advise.
Give it a pinch. The quickest way to stop a nosebleed is to sit on a chair or on the edge of your bed and firmly pinch your nose closed. Hold it closed for five to ten minutes. By stopping the flow of blood, you will give it time to clot, which usually happens in a few minutes. Don’t pack your nose with gauze or cotton, because it could pull off the clot when you remove it. And wait a while of course, to blow your nose, which could start the bleeding again.
Incidentally, it’s important to lean forward on tilt your head to the side when trying to stop your nosebleed. Tilting your head backward will cause blood to drip down the back of your throat, which could make you nauseated.
Stop it at the source . If your nose keeps bleeding, try rolling some gauze into a tight cylinder and placing it under your upper lip. There are several blood vessels in this area, and the cylinder of gauze will help press them closed, so that there’s less blood flowing into the nose.
Put ice to work . Cold temperatures cause blood vessels to constrict, reducing the flow of blood. If your nose does not cease bleeding on its own, put some ice in a plastic bag, wrap it in a towel, and drape it over the bridge of your nose. In most cases the bleeding will stop within a few minutes.
Put ore moisture in the air . Nosebleeds are often caused by dry air, especially in the winter. If you get nosebleeds often, your doctor may recommend plugging in a humidifier, which will make the air moister and easier on the lining of your nose. If you don’t have a humidifier, here’s another tip you may want to try: Fill several bowls with water and place them in different rooms in the house. The water will naturally evaporate and release water droplets into the air. If you have a green thumb, you may want to buy several houseplants, which will also help you keep the air moist.
Rehydrate yourself . If you are taking in enough fluids, some tissues throughout your body, including in the nose, will get dry and irritated. Drinking a lot of water – eight to twelve glasses a day – will help keep you mucus membranes moist and protected.
Sniff some water . A quick way to lubricate the inside of the nose is simply to sniff some water. You can buy saline nose sprays at the pharmacy. Or simply mix a pinch of salt in a glass of lukewarm water and sniff it out of the palm of your hand. Then blow gently in a tissue to rid your nose of excess water.
Apply some protection . Many people treat a dry nose by rubbing on a little petroleum jelly. Or you can apply a thin layer of get from an aloe vera leaf. Aloe is very soothing and may help your nose heal more quickly.
Eat well. Research has shown that a diet rich in vitamin C and E, as well as the B vitamins, can help strengthen blood vessels and prevent bleeding. Vitamin E is especially good because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory that will help stop swelling.
The best way to get plenty of these vitamins is to eat a well balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. You may want to take a vitamin E supplement because this nutrient is hard to get from foods alone.
Put out the cigarette – and drink less, too . Cigarette smoke is extremely drying and can damage the delicate blood vessels inside the nose. Alcohol also dries the nose because it’s a diuretic, meaning it removes more moisture from the body than the drink puts back in.