Almost everyone has had a nosebleed, and almost everyone has a pet remedy, whether it is a cold pack on the back of the neck or a wad of paper under the upper lip. Since most nose bleeds stop by themselves, these simple treatments may be less effective than you think. There are two main types of nose bleeds:
The most common type of nosebleeds occurs in the front half of the nose on the partition between the two nostrils, and the bleeding usually comes from one nostril only. You can easily handle this type of nosebleed with firstaid treatment, although if the bleeding does not stop promptly you should get in touch with your doctor.
The less common and more serious type of nose bleeds originates in the back of the nose. Bleeding may come from both nostrils, and blood may also appear in the mouth. This type of nosebleed is more likely to happen among older persons, and it usually requires prompt medical assistance, sometimes including hospitalization.
A simple nosebleed from one nostril can sometimes be stopped by gently pressing that side of the nose. If the nose bleeding continues, it is better to be seated instead of lying down. Bend your head forward over a towel or basin and gently blow your nose once or twice to clear it of accumulated blood. Do not keep on blowing or you may start up bleeding which would otherwise subside.
A piece of moist cotton two-thirds the size of your little finger may be inserted into the nostril to help check the nose bleeding; however, this may work only if the bleeding is coming from just one nostril. If your nosebleed persists or keeps recurring, you should get help from your doctor, who you should be prepared to meet either at his or her office or at a hospital.
Proper diagnosis and treatment of nose bleeds require the use of suction machines and other equipment usually found only in hospital emergency rooms and in doctor’s offices. Sometimes the doctor may insert a special packing to stop the nose bleeds. In other cases, the doctor may use a special instrument to coagulate a small blood vessel which may bare ruptured. When the loss of blood has been substantial, the doctor may put you in the hospital.