Nosebleeds are one of those annoying life occurrences that are not really a medical emergency but can look quite scary for those not used to them.
There are a few misconceptions floating around on how to best manage nosebleeds and we are here to set the record straight!
Tilt your head forward, not backward.
TILT HEAD FORWARD OR BACKWARD?
This one has sparked huge debate across nosebleed sufferers. More often than not, we would see people pinching their nose and tilting their head back to stop the blood running out their nose. This is a big no-no. Not only does the blood run down the back of the throat (and tastes disgusting) it also has the potential to accidentally run into your airway and cause choking.
Sit with your head tilted forward and pinch the bridge of your nose to try to stop the bleeding. Hold a towel or wad of tissues underneath your nose to catch the blood. If you are able, a cold pack will work very well as it causes the blood vessels to constrict. Within 5-10 minutes, the bleeding should have slowed and eventually stopped.
WHY DO I NEED TO PINCH MY NOSE?
The reason for the nose pinching is due to the cause of the nosebleed. Most of them are caused when a blood vessel leaks in the soft cartilage of the nose, otherwise known as an anterior nosebleed. By pinching the bridge of your nose, you are placing pressure on the vessel, allowing the blood flow to slow and eventually stop.
- DON’T lie down on your back during a nosebleed. Again, this could cause the blood to run down your throat and into your airway.
- DON’T blow your nose. This could severely irritate your nasal passage and cause the bleeding to worsen.
- DON’T eat hot or spicy food within a few hours of a nosebleed. This dilates your blood vessels and could cause the bleeding to start again.
- DON’T place any objects inside your nose to stop the bleeding. This includes tissues, tampons, cotton balls or paper towel.
WHAT IF THE BLEEDING DOESN’T STOP?
If bleeding is still persisting after an hour or you start feeling weak or nauseous seek medical attention. And don’t forget to keep your first aid kit up to date!