Nosebleed - Fairview Health Services
 
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Nosebleed

The skin inside your nose is fragile and filled with blood vessels. That's why even a slight injury to your nose sometimes may cause bleeding. Hard nose blowing, dry winter air, colds, and nose picking can also cause nosebleeds. Normally, nosebleeds are not a cause for concern. But in some cases, they can signal a more serious medical problem. Know when to seek medical care for a nosebleed.

Man tilting head forward and pinching nose.

When to Go to the Emergency Room (ER)

Most nosebleeds aren’t a medical emergency. In fact, you often can treat them yourself. However, see your healthcare provider if you have frequent nosebleeds. And seek care right away if you:

  • Have a head injury.

  • Have bleeding that lasts more than 15 to 30 minutes or is severe.

  • Feel weak or faint.

  • Feel blood flowing down the back of your throat.

  • Have trouble breathing.

To help stop a nosebleed:

  • Sit or stand up and lean your head forward (not back)

  • Gently pinch the soft part of your nose for 5 to 10 minutes. If your nose still bleeds, try pinching for 10 minutes more.

What to Expect in the ER

  • You will be examined and may have blood tests.

  • You may be given medicated nose drops to stop the nosebleed.

  • Gauze may be packed into your nose to put pressure on the vessel and help stop bleeding.

  • The bleeding vessel may be cauterized.

  • During this procedure, the vessel is burned with an electrical device or chemical. Your nose is first numbed so you won’t feel any pain.

 

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