A nosebleed is bleeding from tissues inside your nose (nasal mucous membranes) caused by a broken blood vessel. The medical word for nosebleed is epistaxis. In simple words, nosebleeding is the loss of blood from the tissues lining your nose. 

Nose bleeding can be a recurring problem in summers as well as winters, owing to the sensitivity to extreme weather conditions. In the long run, it can be a sign of a serious health issue that might have gone unnoticed in due time. 

Nosebleed is very common and can be treated at home. However, certain symptoms might need to be checked by your doctor.

Most often, nosebleeds are differentiated from the site of the bleed. There are two main types:

  • Anterior nosebleed starts in the front of the nose, on the lower part of the wall that separates the two sides of the nose (called the septum). Capillaries and small blood vessels in the front area of your nose are weak and can easily break and bleed. This is the most common type of nosebleed and is usually treated at home.

  • Posterior nosebleed is more serious than an anterior nosebleed. It occurs deep inside the nose, caused by a bleed in larger blood vessels in the back part of your nose. Heavy bleeding due to this can cause blood to flow down the back of your throat. More common in adults, this type of nosebleed requires immediate medical attention.

Causes of Nosebleeding

  • Picking the inside of the nose, especially if your fingernails are long

  • Blowing your nose with force

  • Inserting a sharp or a big object into your nose

  • Injury to the nose and/or the face due to a knock or a blow

  • Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTI) like the cold or the flu 

  • Sinusitis – an inflammation of your sinuses (4 air-filled sacs present in your facial bones) 

  • Extreme hot, cold, or dry climatic conditions

  • High altitude decrease the amount of oxygen availability, making the air thinner and drier, leading to a nosebleed

  • Excessive use of medications, illegal drugs, or alcohol

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

  • Nasal surgery

  • Exposure to chemicals that may irritate your mucous membrane

  • Blood-thinning drugs (medications that are taken orally to prevent a blood clot) 

Symptoms of Nosebleeding

The main symptom of a nosebleed is blood coming from the nose which can be light to heavy. Other symptoms include:

  • Heavy bleeding

  • Palpitations (an irregular heartbeat)

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Swallowing large amounts of blood that causes vomiting

  • Turning pale

When is Bleeding from Your Nose an Emergency?

  • When you have continuous bleeding for more than 20 minutes

  • When nosebleeding is caused by severe trauma

  • When you have high blood pressure

  • When there has been a significant loss of blood

  • When you can taste blood in your mouth

It is advisable to rush to the emergency department of a nearby hospital in the above cases.

Nosebleeding in Ayurveda

Ayurveda is an age-old science of life and longevity. In Ayurveda, each individual is born with 5 elements of nature which are Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and Space. The balance of these elements is known as Dosha

There are 3 main doshas- Vata (energy of movement, composed of space and air), Pitta (digestion and metabolism composed of fire and water), and Kapha (structure and lubrication, composed of water and earth). 

According to ayurveda, an imbalance of the pitta dosha is associated with nosebleeds. Ayurvedic home remedies suggest how to pacify your pitta dosha to manage/stop a nosebleed.

3 Ayurvedic Home Remedies to Treat Nosebleeding

1. Use natural extracts of rosewood trees. Rosewood is known for its nerve-calming properties that allow a therapeutic relief to your nose and the head region. It is recommended to take about 5-7 drops of juice extracted from rosewood leaves regularly, if you have recurring nosebleeds. You can also boil it and use it as a nose-drop solution for future storage.

2. Peepal Juice for immediate relief. Juice extracted from peepal (sacred fig) leaves also helps in providing immediate relief from nosebleeding. Peepal leaves help in the quick healing of the wound in your nose, decrease swelling, and brings back skin to its normal texture due to its healing properties.

In case of regular problems with nose bleeding, take a peepal leaf and crush it in order to take about 5-7 drops of juice and use it as a nose drop. 

3. Pranayama (breathing exercises) for nosebleeding. Breathing exercises like anulom vilom (alternate nostril breathing) can help with the clearance of nose blockages and help with nerve-calming effects. 

How To Do:

1. Start by creating the Vishnu Mudra (Universal Balance Gesture). Fold the index and middle fingers of your right hand and make the mudra. Close the right nostril with your right thumb and the left nostril with your ring finger.  

2. Keep the right nostril closed and slowly inhale through the left nostril and fill all the air deep down till your abdomen. 

3. Once you complete an inhalation, pause or hold your breath briefly for 2 seconds.  

4. Gently close the left nostril with your ring finger and release your thumb to open the right nostril. Exhale out all the air through your right nostril and pause for 2 seconds in the end.  

5. Next, keep the left nostril closed with your ring finger, inhale slowly through the right nostril, and pause again for 2 seconds.

6. Again, close the right nostril with your thumb and release your ring finger to open the left nostril to exhale out the air. 

This is considered as one round of alternate nostril breathing. Repeat the same on the opposite side and do this pattern for 5 to 10 minutes, once a day.

If your nosebleeding does not reduce or stop after 15 to 20 minutes, rush to your doctor immediately.

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.