Nosebleed: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is Nosebleed?

Nosebleeds tend to be very common. They might be scary at times. However, it turns out rarely that they pose any serious medical threat or condition. The nose contains several blood vessels. These blood vessels are located just close to the surface in both the front as well as in the back of the nose. The surface of the back, as well as front nose, is very fragile and thus, might result in nose bleeding quite easily. Nosebleeds tend to be very common amongst the adults. These are also quite common instances in the children aged between 3 and 10. 

Typically, there are two types of nosebleeds. The anterior nosebleed occurs when the bleeding occurs from the blood vessels located at the front end of the nose. Similarly, the posterior nosebleed might occur when bleeding happens from the blood vessels located at the back end of the nose. In cases of posterior nosebleed, the bleeding might reach deeper into the back of the throat. Thus, this situation could be dangerous and risky. 

How does nosebleed Occur?

There are several causes of the occurrence of nosebleed. An infrequent or sudden nosebleed tends to be rarely serious or dangerous. If you tend to have nosebleeds frequently, then it could be the symptom of some serious problem. 

Dry air is regarded as one of the most common causes of nosebleeds. When you live in a place with dry climate or weather conditions or if you happen to be making use of a centralized heating system, then it could lead to the dryness of the nasal membranes in your nose –the tissues present inside the nose. The intense dryness of the nasal membranes could cause some crusts inside the nose. Crusting might sometimes itch or become irritated. When you scratch or pick your nose, the crusts could cause bleeding. 

When you take medicines like decongestants and antihistamines for treating allergies, colds, and sinus problems, then also it leads to the dryness of the nasal membranes and might cause nosebleeds. Frequent blowing of the nose might also be yet another common cause of nose bleeding. 

Some of the additional causes of nosebleeds include:

  • Chemical irritants
  • Some foreign object stuck in the nasal membranes
  • Some allergic reaction
  • Repeated sneezing
  • Injury to the nose
  • Cold air
  • Picking the nose
  • Increased dosages of aspirin
  • Infection of the upper respiratory tract

Some of the risky causes of nosebleeds might include cancer, bleeding disorders, high blood pressure, blood clotting disorders, and others. 

Who is Prone to nosebleeds?

Nosebleeds could happen to any individual. It is quite common amongst the adults and children aged between 3 and 10 years. 

What are the Symptoms of nosebleed? How is nosebleed Diagnosed?

Most of the nosebleeds do not require any medical attention. They might stop on their own. However, if the nosebleed exceeds 20 minutes, then it is recommended that you should seek medical help. Some of the common nosebleed symptoms that you should look out for include sudden bleeding from the nose, burning sensation in the nose, pain in the nasal membranes, and discomfort in the nose. The posterior nosebleed symptoms might also involve the feeling of bleeding deep inside the throat arising from the nose. This is when you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.


When you are seeking medical assistance in case of a nosebleed, then the doctor will usually conduct a physical examination of your nasal membranes. They will check for the presence of any foreign objects in the nose. They might also inquire about your medical history or current medications. 

If you have received any recent injuries, then you must tell the doctor about the same. The doctor might make use of some common diagnostic tests in case of nosebleeds. Here are some:

  • X-ray of the nose and face
  • CT scan of the nose
  • CBC (Complete Blood Count) 
  • PTT (Partial Thromboplastin Time) –blood test for checking how long it takes for your blood to clot
  • Nasal Endoscopy

What are the Complications of nosebleed?

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Pain in the nose
  • Incessant bleeding
  • Discomfort in the nasal membranes

What is the Treatment for a nosebleed?

The overall treatment for the nosebleeds would depend on the cause and type of nosebleed. 

Anterior Nosebleed

You can usually treat the anterior nosebleed at your home with the help of a few precautions. As you sit up, squeeze the soft portion of your nose. You must ensure that the nostrils are closed completely. You are required to keep the nostrils closed for around 10 minutes. Then, lean forward slowly and try breathing from your mouth. It is advised not to lie down during a nosebleed. 

Posterior Nosebleed

Posterior nosebleeds tend to be less common and require medical assistance. If some foreign object is the cause of bleeding, the doctor might remove the same. 

Home Remedies for nosebleed

  • Make use of a cold compress over the affected area
  • Use some nasal spray decongestant 
  • Consume foods rich in Vitamin C including spinach, broccoli, cabbage and others

Did You Know?

  • Nosebleeds are often associated with cold, dry weather conditions
  • Anyone can have nosebleeds
  • It is recommended to take some first-aid actions during a nosebleed

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