Nose bleeding can be of two types; upper nosebleeds and lower nosebleeds. The later type usually poses no threat to the person thus, does not generally require medical attention, unless the bleeding cannot be stopped. It usually involves the lower septum (a dividing partition between two tissues or cavities). This septum separates the two channels of the nose that contain blood vessels. Being close to the surface, the susceptibility of these blood vessels to be injured is more thus, causing nose bleeding. Cases of upper nosebleeds are rare in occurrence. Here, the bleeding occurs high inside the nose and blood tends to flow down the back of the mouth and throat. This may happen even when the person is sitting up or standing.
# The most common cause for nose bleeding is trauma that may include a violent blow or a smack. Sometimes, an injury is self-induced due to nose picking that occurs when mucus in the nose becomes dry and irritating. Indoor heat during winters may also be responsible for nose bleeding, as the heat causes dryness of the inner nose membranes and they get more prone to cracking and hence bleeding. High blood pressure, allergic and non-allergic rhinitis (rhinitis - an inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the nose), colds and even certain medications may cause a person to bleed from his/her nose.
# Other causes may include disorders such as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, also known as Arteriosclerotic Vascular Disease or ASVD, is a medical condition of the arteries wherein, the arteries wall thickens due to fatty deposits (atheromas).
# Cancerous or non-cancerous nasal tumors are also found to be one of the factors that cause a bleeding nose, apart from leukemia, Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome, and certain types of infection.
# Most of the time, kids have a tendency of taking a cold shower immediately after playing any outdoor games, particularly out in the scorching heat. The sudden rise and fall of temperature in the body may trigger nose bleeding in some cases. This is due to the fact that when the body has reached a high temperature due to some physical activities, it needs time to cool down, and attain what is called the 'normal body temperature'. Now, before the body does that, if it is exposed to sudden cold conditions (such as a cold shower or bath), the mechanism gets imbalanced which may cause bleeding, and other acute medical emergencies also.
Treating A Bleeding Nose
# As soon as you realize that your nose is bleeding, sit up straight and pinch the nostrils (bleeding) firmly between your thumb and index finger, for at least 10 - 15 minutes. If the bleeding is due to dryness, then swabbing the membranes with a thick lubricant (vaseline) will prevent further bleeding. In some cases, applying cold ice pack (wrapped in a towel) to the nose bridge also provides relief from bleeding.
# Once the bleeding stops, maintain the same position of keeping the head higher than the level of the heart. This will buy time for the blood to clot and prevent any further bleeding. Take care not to blow your nose or put anything into it, as this may dislodge the clot. If you can't avoid sneezing, then keep the mouth open to let the air escape from it, instead from the nose.
# If the bleeding recurs after sometime, then do not mind blowing out your nose forcefully. This will get rid the blood clots so that you can spray both the nostrils with a nasal decongestant spray. It is advised that the spray must contain oxymetazoline. Thereafter, pinch your nostrils in the same fashion and sit upright.
# Medical intervention is required if the nose does not stop bleeding even after following the above methods, or if it continues for more than 15-20 minutes. Persistent bleeding may indicate other serious conditions in the body, that perhaps, is undiagnosed. So call for medical help as soon as possible, especially, if the affected person is an infant or child or an aged person and the blood loss is heavy.
Most episodes of nose bleeding do not cause any severe complications with them, except some very rare ones. Apart from what has been mentioned above, some instances may occur for no apparent reasons.