Nosebleeds are more common in the winter due to the dry conditions. Here’s how to stop a nosebleed and keep it from coming back.
Winter weather brings with it not only cold temperatures but also an increased risk of nose bleeds. Why are nosebleeds more common during the winter months? The dry, moisture deprived air created by indoor heating systems causes the mucous membranes lining the nasal passages to become dry and flaky, increasing the risk of a nose bleed due to the lack of humidity. When nasal passages are excessively dry, a nose bleed can occur without any provocation, but you certainly increase the risk of a bleed if you pick at your nose or otherwise irritate the mucous membranes. Blowing your nose forcefully in dry conditions can also bring on a nasty nose bleed. What’s the best way to stop a nosebleed and prevent it from recurring?
One of the best ways to prevent a nosebleed due to dry air from indoor heating systems is to invest in a humidifier. A humidifier will moisten the mucous membranes which will not only prevent nosebleeds but also decrease your risk of developing a cold or virus. The mucous produced by your nasal passages has proteins that act as antibodies to protect you against cold and flu causing viruses. Keeping the humidity between thirty and forty percent is ideal for keeping the nasal passages moist and healthy.
Other ways to keep the mucous membranes in the nose moist to prevent nosebleeds is to drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated. You can also use saline mist sprays such as Ayr and Ocean to moisten the lining of the nasal passages. These saline mist sprays are simply salt and water mixtures in a spray form designed to reduce nasal dryness. They can be purchased at most drugstores.
How do you stop a nosebleed once it starts? The quickest way to stop a nosebleed is to pinch your nostrils together for ten seconds. This should allow the nosebleed to resolve fairly quickly if you aren’t on aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, or fish oils which can keep the blood from clotting in a timely manner. If not, repeat this maneuver until it stops. After the nosebleed stops, avoid lifting anything heavy or blowing your nose which could restart the bleeding.
If you experience recurrent bleeds, see your doctor to rule out more serious causes of nosebleeds and if a nosebleed fails to stop despite the above measures, seek medical assistance immediately.
Knowing how to stop a nosebleed is important during the dry, winter months when they tend to be so common. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll have that pesky nosebleed under control in no time.