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Nosebleeds - Why Do They Occur and What Can We Do to Stop Them?

Nosebleeds can occur for a number of reasons. One reason can simply be the way that the nose is attached to the face, or the amount of blood vessels in the nose.

Some people may also experience nosebleeds if they are taking medication that thins the blood. Children whose noses bleed often are likely picking their noses throughout the day and causing trauma to the membranes. An infection in the body or high blood pressure are also common causes of nosebleeds.

If you or your loved one have to deal with nosebleeds often, these practical tips can help to stop the bleeding immediately and prevent the nose from bleeding in the future:

  • Lean forward and tilt your head forward. Throwing your head back will cause the blood to rush back into your sinus cavity, which leads to choking and gagging. Hold your nose with a washcloth for about five minutes. Repeat this until your nose has stopped bleeding completely. 
  • Apply an ice pack to your cheeks and nose. Sometimes, a sudden change in temperature, such as coming in from freezing cold weather into a warm house, can cause the nose to bleed. Putting ice on your face helps to constrict the blood vessels, so that blood won't flow in the nasal cavity so quickly. 
  • Try not to sniff or blow your nose for 15 minutes after the bleeding stops, to give the tiny blood vessels in your nose a chance to clot properly. Also, if you’re looking after a child with a nose bleed, don’t let them pick their nose for at least the rest of the day, to stop them from restarting the nose bleed. 
  • Eat foods rich in zinc and bioflavonoids. Nutrients such as zinc, and the bioflavonoids found in citrus fruits and berries, naturally support the integrity of the little capillary blood vessels in the nose. Make sure you’re including plenty of zinc-rich foods like oysters, multigrain bread and air-popped popcorn, and high bioflavonoid foods like blueberries, oranges and carrots, to keep your blood vessels healthy.