Ask a Doctor: 'Why Do I Get Nosebleeds and How Can I Stop Them?'

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A nosebleed can be a shocking and somewhat frightening experience, but medical experts say that the condition is generally not serious.

“Nosebleeds are very common and affect more than half the population at some point,” David A. Gudis, chief of the division of nasal and skull base surgery at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, told Fox News Digital.

“Most nosebleeds are not serious medical emergenciesbut they can be alarming and sometimes even dangerous.”

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You need to know this.

What causes nosebleeds?

The lining of the nasal cavity (the “mucous membrane”) has a very strong blood supply and there can be several causes that can lead to bleeding in this area, Gudis said.

A nosebleed can be quite scary, but medical experts say the condition is generally not serious. (iStock)

“In children, the front of the nasal cavity is susceptible to irritation from what everyone does: nose picking,” he said.

In adults, this part of the nose can become dry, causing the mucous membrane over the blood vessels to thin.

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Another cause, Gudis said, could be a deviated nasal septum. This occurs when the wall that separates the left and right sides of the nose is off-center or crooked.

“This can cause the airflow in the nose to become more turbulent, which can further dry out the front of the nose,” the doctor said.

Woman with handkerchief

“Nosebleeds are very common and more than half the population will experience them at some point,” said one doctor. (iStock)

Trauma or injury Nosebleeds can also result from injuries to the nose, such as being hit in the face with a ball or an accident of any kind, he added.

Medical problems can also be a possible trigger.

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“This may include uncontrolled hypertension (high bloodpressure), anticoagulant medications (blood thinners), and bleeding/clotting disorders,” Gudis told Fox News Digital.

In addition to these reasons, a person's environment can also be the culprit.

Girl blowing her nose

“In children, the front of the nasal cavity is susceptible to irritation from what everyone does: nose-picking,” one doctor said. (iStock)

A common cause of nosebleeds is dry indoor airsays Natasha Bhuyan, a family physician at One Medical in Phoenix, Arizona.

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“We see this especially in the winter,” she told Fox News Digital.

One way to prevent this is to use a humidifier.

“Most nosebleeds are not serious medical emergencies, but they can be alarming and sometimes dangerous.”

Experts advise to limit the occurrence of infections by drinking enough fluids and keeping the nasal cavity moist.

“Also avoid picking your nose – and of course people should avoid that too smoking tobacco“, Bhuyan added.

How do you stop a nosebleed?

According to Gudis, 'holding pressure' is a simple and very effective solution for most nosebleeds.

“The trick is to apply pressure to the point where the nose softens, to pinch it closed,” he said.

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Often people do not know what the best protocol is to stop a nosebleed.

“Many people are incorrectly instructed to pinch the bridge of the nose, but pinching the hard nasal bones does not transfer pressure to the actual source of the bleeding,” Gudis said.

When should you seek medical help?

If the bleeding is persistent, heavy and does not stop, or if you develop other symptoms such as dizziness or nausea, it is best to seek medical attention. medical attention “That can be done right away,” Gudis advised.

ENT

If the bleeding is persistent, heavy and doesn't stop, or if you experience other symptoms such as dizziness or nausea, it's wise to seek immediate medical attention, experts advise. (iStock)

If nosebleeds occur frequently or take a long time to stop, don't hesitate to seek medical attention from an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist, he said.

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“In the office, we can use small nasal endoscopes to locate the source of the bleeding,” Gudis told Fox News Digital.

In some cases, he said, patients have surgery needed to cut off the blood supply to certain parts of the nose.

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