First aid: Nosebleeds
Nosebleeds are common. Most often they are a nuisance and not a true medical problem. But they can be both.
Among children and young adults, nosebleeds usually originate from the septum, just inside the nose. The septum separates your nasal chambers.
In middle-aged and older adults, nosebleeds can begin from the septum, but they may also begin deeper in the nose's interior. This latter origin of nosebleed is much less common. It may be caused by hardened arteries or high blood pressure. These nosebleeds begin spontaneously and are often difficult to stop. They require a specialist's help.
To take care of a nosebleed:
Seek medical care immediately if:
For frequent nosebleeds
Also call your doctor if you are experiencing nasal bleeding and are taking blood thinners, such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin). Your doctor may advise adjusting your medication intake.
Using supplemental oxygen administered with a nasal tube (cannula) may increase your risk of nosebleeds. Apply a water-based lubricant to your nostrils and increase the humidity in your home to help relieve nasal bleeding.
Last Updated: 2009-12-11
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