Nosebleeds are one of the more common ailments seen by Ear, Nose, and Throat physicians and the experts at Decatur ENT are here to help. While some nosebleeds certainly require a physician’s attention, many less severe nosebleeds can be treated at home by the patient.
Most bleeds occur from the front of the nose on the septum or middle part of the nose. The primary cause of nosebleeds is irritation or dryness inside the nose near a blood vessel. Use of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs can interfere with the blood’s normal clotting functions and increase the risk of nosebleeds. Acetaminophen or Tylenol does not interfere with the normal clotting functions and is safe to take if you are having difficulty with nosebleeds.
For minor nosebleeds, avoidance of overuse of anti-inflammatory meds, irritation and over drying of the inside of the nose usually controls the bleeding. Saline nose sprays, bedside humidifiers, and moisturizing ointments such as aquaphor and saline gels can help combat the dryness we encounter especially this time of year.
A persistent nosebleed should first be treated by blowing any clots out of the nose then holding pressure by pinching the lower part of the nose for 5-10 minutes. Keep the head upright and tilted forward just enough to avoid blood running down the back of the throat. Persistent bleeding after this will often respond to placing a small cotton ball soaked in afrin or Neo-Synephrine nose drops in the front of the nose for 5-10 minutes.
Any bleeding persisting after these measures probably needs medical evaluation for possible cauterization or nasal packing.