Nosebleeds, also known as epistaxis, are extremely common. In fact, approximately 60% of people will experience a nosebleed at some point in their life. Nosebleeds most commonly affect children between ages two and 10, as well as adults ages 50 to 80. While nosebleeds can sometimes appear alarming, only around 10% warrant medical treatment.
What to Do During a Nosebleed
It’s important to know what steps to take during a nosebleed in order to stop the bleeding and minimize discomfort. Below is a list of what to do if you or your child experiences a nosebleed.
- Sit upright and lean slightly forward. If your child is the one experiencing a nosebleed, reassure them that everything is alright.
- Do not lean back or lie down, as this can result in blood being swallowed, leading to coughing and/or vomiting up blood.
- Gently pinch the tip of the nose between two fingers using a tissue or clean towel. Breathe through the mouth.
- Apply pressure for about 10 minutes, even if the bleeding stops before that.
- Do not pack the nose with gauze or tissue, and avoid spraying anything into the nose.
When to See a Doctor for a Nosebleed
Most nosebleeds are short-lived and can be treated at home. However, it is a good idea to talk to a doctor if…
- The nosebleeds occur frequently
- They change from a familiar pattern to a new one
- They occur alongside chronic congestion
- They are accompanied by other signs of easy bleeding or bruising
- They begin after starting a new medication
- They regularly require a trip to the emergency room
Urgent medical attention is needed for a nosebleed if…
- Bleeding continues after 20 minutes of applied pressure
- It occurs after a head injury, fall or blow to the face
- The nose appears broken or misshapen
- It is accompanied by an intense headache or fever
- There are signs of too much blood loss, like paleness, fatigue, dizziness or fainting
- The person begins coughing or vomiting up blood
- The person has a bleeding disorder or is taking blood thinners
For more information about nosebleeds or to schedule an appointment with an expert ENT physician, call ENT of Georgia today.