Nosebleeds (nosebleeds or epistaxis) are usually a medical emergency, in the sense that it is important to stop the nosebleeds quickly.

What to do in case of nosebleed?

The first thing to do is sit with your head up or with your head tilted slightly forward (don’t tilt your head back), and above all remain calm.
Then do a manual compression of the nose for 10 minutes. For bleeding from one nostril, stop the bleeding by squeezing vigorously with your thumb the bleeding nostril between the edge of the nose and the nasal septum. When both nostrils are bleeding, use your thumb and index finger to pinch your nose firmly.
Some doctors, probably for simplicity, advise compressing or squeezing the entire nose (the 2 nostrils) between the thumb and index finger when one or both nostrils bleed.

If the bleeding persists, perform compression for another 10 minutes and if, despite this, the bleeding does not stop, see a doctor (it is estimated that after 15 minutes if the bleeding does not stop, we should consult a doctor).


Nosebleeds (nosebleeds) or epistaxis is blood flowing outward through the nose. It occurs after the rupture of blood vessels that are inside the nose. In fact, these vessels, whose function is to warm and humidify the breathed air, are fragile by nature.

Nosebleeds are relatively common in childhood. It also becomes common in older people (usually due to blood pressure problems).

Nosebleeds are rarely serious, despite symptoms that can frighten those around you.


The causes of nosebleeds are numerous:

– The most common is dry nasal secretions. Which are often caused due to heat, dry air (low humidity levels) or the ingestion of certain cortisone-based medicines (such as nasal spray, for example).

– The act of scratching your nose can also cause nosebleeds.
This is why children who often scratch their noses are particularly affected by this problem, especially when they have a cold or sinusitis. Blowing your nose too hard, especially in children, can also cause nosebleeds.

Dry nasal secretions and scratching your nose are the two most common causes of nosebleeds.

In children, the cause of nosebleeds is not always obvious; it is classified as essential or idiopathic and resolves spontaneously during puberty. However, sometimes children insert small objects into their nose which causes nosebleeds.

Other less frequent causes of nosebleeds can be mentioned, such as:
– an inflammation caused by a cold or sinusitis;
– an injury or trauma;
– allergies;
– repeated local administration of medication or other drugs, such as cocaine and alcohol, into the nasal mucosa;
– certain medicines, such as blood thinners, (warfarin or heparin, for example.)
– a surgical intervention;
– infections and/or inflammations, such as typhoid fever, scarlet fever, the flu, a cold or a chronic infection of the nasal cavity;
– certain diseases such as hypertension, kidney disease or blood clotting disorders can manifest themselves through nosebleeds;
– in very rare cases, there may be a tumor (the tumor may be benign) in the nose or leukaemia;
Note that, in general, it is difficult to accurately pinpoint the source of a nosebleed.


Nosebleeds are very easy to recognize by the flow of blood through the nostrils.

Sometimes, especially in adults, the bleeding is more severe and is accompanied by vomiting and/or bloody sputum due to the flow of blood into the digestive and respiratory tracts. The state of shock preceded by feelings of discomfort can occur in the absence of immediate care.

Depending on the particular predisposition of each individual, the circumstances of the occurrence of nosebleeds are variable, spontaneously or after a shock, blowing hard, sneezing, physical exertion or exposure to sunlight.


The diagnosis of nosebleeds is made through examination. The doctor collects information about the circumstances of the occurrence of nosebleeds, the patient’s personal and family history, the occasional or continuous use of medications.

The doctor then proceeds with a complete physical examination for diagnosis. In addition, once diagnosed, the severity of the nosebleed is evaluated.


Usually, especially among young people, nosebleeds are benign. In the event that the bleeding comes from the front of the nose, it stops quickly and poses no risk. However, if the bleeding is due to the rupture of the large vessels that are at the back of the nose, one should be careful. The elderly are most affected by this phenomenon, and the older the patient gets, the more severe the bleeding is.

It is essential to see a doctor if:

– After 15 minutes the bleeding continues;

– Nosebleeds occur after trauma, such as a blow to the face;

– You suspect you have broken your nose;

– You have been the victim of an accident or fall, as bleeding can be a sign of deeper bleeding.

– You have frequent bleeding (more than one nosebleed per week, in this case it is important to identify the cause of the bleeding);

– You suffer from hypertension.


The treatment of nosebleeds depends on how much blood is flowing.

You should know that most nosebleeds will stop on their own or after a few steps of care.

Slight bleeding:

Manual compression using just one or two fingers is enough to stop the bleeding. First, we must place the patient in a sitting position, with the head slightly tilted forward, in order to prevent the flow of blood from going to the digestive tract and the respiratory system, and then ask him to blow his nose to remove blood clots. The person must breathe through the mouth during this period.

When there is bleeding from only one nostril, the bleeding can be stopped by compressing vigorously, with the thumb, the vessel between the nostril and the nasal septum.

When both nostrils are bleeding, use your thumb and forefinger to firmly pinch the nostrils.

For a child, we recommend that they sit with their head tilted forward over the sink.1 . Avoid swallowing blood as it can irritate the stomach and cause vomiting.

The compression is done for 10 minutes, this is the time needed for the blood to clot and therefore to stop the bleeding. If the blood does not stop oozing, you should check that the rescue actions are correct and proceed with anterior or posterior tamponade. Putting ice in the nose helps activate clotting and control bleeding.

Moderate or heavy bleeding:

When manual compression fails after 20 minutes, the physician performs anterior tamponade with the aid of a “cotton swab” inserted into the nostrils.

Posterior tamponade is done by placing the “cotton swab” at the back of the throat in order to stop bleeding at the back of the nasal cavities. It is used in case of inefficiency of the previous tamponade or hemorrhage, which go down the throat.

Check regularly after 48 hours if the technique is effective.

In other situations, doctors are resorting to more specialized methods.

Tips for after the bleeding has stopped:
Once the bleeding has stopped, to prevent a new episode it will be necessary to avoid touching your nose and not leaning forward for a few hours. It is also advisable to keep your head at a level above your heart, that is, not to lie down.

Herbal medicine

Remember that herbal medicine cannot help nosebleeds when they appear (part first aid, see treatment and summary), but this natural medicine can have a preventive effect, preventing repeated nosebleeds.

The leaf of European Silvas (Rubus fruticosus, Rubus caesius, Rubus sanctus) has antiseptic and healing activity and can help in the treatment of nosebleeds.

 Before use, boil 1 liter of water for 1 to 2 minutes and infuse for 5 to 10 minutes with a handful of leaves. Vaporize carefully, inside the bleeding nostril, with the help of a vaporizer available in pharmacies. Continue vaping 3 times a day for two weeks and finally gradually decrease the doses. This infusion is mainly used in order to prevent nosebleeds.

 Hamammelis is sometimes used to treat nosebleeds.


Nosebleeds are rarely serious, but a bleeding complication can be fatal. The best prevention is to avoid as much as possible the factors that cause:

 – Try to continuously humidify the air;

– Avoid dry air or exposure to the sun;

– If you feel that your nose is dry, take a shower and moisten your nose with a little vaseline;

– Use nasal sprays and saline solution to relieve your nose when it is dry.

 When a nosebleed starts, try to remain calm, sit down and keep your head slightly tilted forward. This will stop blood flow to the throat and reduce the risk of nausea. Then use your thumb and forefinger to press on the nose. Place them between your nose and the hardest part of the bone, which forms the base of your nose. Hold the pressure for about 10 minutes and repeat if the bleeding persists.

In the past, we advised keeping your head back, but this is no longer advisable as there is a risk of blood rushing into the lungs, which can cause breathing difficulties.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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