Most nosebleeds occur in the front of the nose and involve only one nostril. Some blood may drain down the back of the nose into the throat. These nosebleeds typically are not serious, and you can generally treat them yourself at home.
A less common but more serious type of nosebleed starts in the back of the nose and often involves both nostrils. Large amounts of blood may run down the back of the throat. This type of nosebleed may occur more frequently in older adults because of health conditions they may have. You will need treatment from a doctor to control bleeding from this type of nosebleed.
Follow these steps to stop a nosebleed:
After you have stopped a nosebleed, the following tips may prevent a nosebleed from happening again:
Nosebleeds may develop in people who have colds or chronic hay fever symptoms (postnasal drip, sneezing, or a runny, stuffy, or itchy nose) because nasal tissues become inflamed and irritated. Using medicines may relieve the symptoms, leading to less inflammation and irritation and fewer nosebleeds. But overuse of allergy medicines may lead to nosebleeds because of their overdrying side effects. If you have a lot of nosebleeds, talk to your doctor about the proper use of cold and allergy medicines.
If you are helping someone else stop a nosebleed, avoid touching the other person's blood. Use gloves, if available, or layers of fabric or a plastic bag to protect yourself.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine|
|Last Revised||March 22, 2011|
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