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What Causes a Bloody Nose and Headache?

A bloody nose and headache can occur together due to certain underlying conditions like high blood pressure. To find out more about the possible causes of this condition, go through the sections below.
Chandramita Bora
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2018
Bleeding from your nose is a common condition, and is usually not associated with any serious medical problem. But still, a nosebleed can be a frightening experience for many people. However, it can be stopped or managed at home without any medical intervention, if it is not very serious. Basically, it can be of two types, anterior nosebleeds (bleeding originates in the front of the nose and usually from the nasal septum) and posterior nosebleeds (bleeding originates from the back of the nose). Posterior nosebleeds are more complicated than the anterior type. Sometimes, along with nosebleeds, certain individuals can experience some other discomforts like, headaches and dizziness, which can be indicators of certain grave underlying health conditions.
Causes of Nosebleeds and Headache
The simultaneous presentation of nosebleeds and headache can be explained by a variety of cause, of which some are trivial, while others are quite serious.
Trivial causes:
  • Trauma or irritation of nasal cavity
  • Common cold
  • Allergic reaction
  • Dryness in the nose
  • Nose picking
  • Excessive use of nasal sprays
  • Sinusitis
  • Physical injury to head or nose
  • Nutritional deficiency
Serious causes:
  • High blood pressure
  • Blunt force trauma to head
  • Consequence of a bleeding disorder like hemophilia
  • Severe anemia
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Cranial fracture
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Inhalation of strong and/or toxic chemicals
  • Leukemia
If the bleeding is not very severe, sit upright and lean slightly forward. This can help to reduce the blood pressure in the blood vessels of the nose, and avoid swallowing blood. Never lie down or tilt the head backwards, when your nosebleeds. Now, pinch the soft part of your nose, just beneath the bone ridge with a tissue or a soft cloth. Keep pressing that area for 5 to 10 minutes. In the meantime, breathe through the mouth normally, and stay calm. You can also apply cold compress or ice to the nose in order to stop the bleeding.

Once the bleeding has stopped, avoid the activities that can irritate the nose such as, blowing the nose or nose picking. To moisturize the inside lining of the nose, you can use petroleum jelly. If there are sores inside the nose, antibiotic ointment can be used. If the bleeding does not stop and continues for more than 15 minutes, then please seek medical attention for the proper bloody nose treatment.
The headache should subside once the nosebleed is addressed. If not, check for signs of trauma to the head. If there are no signs and you are alert and conscious, you may take a mild pain reliever. However it is best to get looked at by a doctor to rule out the possibility of concussions and internal hemorrhaging. It is important to keep in mind that severe bleeding from the nose, along with dizziness, headaches, loss of consciousness and breathing difficulty can be the signs of some underlying disorders.
To sum up, proper treatment of this condition is possible only after evaluating the underlying causes. If nosebleed occurs along with headache, then it is advisable to check the level of blood pressure, and go for a complete blood count (CBC) test. At the same time, one should also talk to a certified physician to properly evaluate the condition with the help of appropriate diagnostic procedures.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.