YOUR HEALTH What’s caus­ing your nose to bleed

Al­though nose bleeds are mi­nor, they might re­quire med­i­cal at­ten­tion

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Saahi­rah Ally and Per­fect Xhakaza

ANOSE bleed is when blood ves­sels in the nose that carry blood to tis­sues and or­gans rup­ture, re­sult­ing in blood leak­ing from the nose. The mem­branes in the nose get dis­turbed or dry and form cracks that re­sult in the erup­tion of the blood ves­sels. In rare cases, this con­di­tion may lead to ex­ces­sive bleed­ing. These in­ci­dents peak up at ages younger than 10 and older than 50. Al­though nose bleeds are mi­nor, they may re­quire med­i­cal as­sis­tance.

WHAT CAUSES A NOSE BLEED?

Nose bleeds can be the re­sult of trauma or in­jury to your face, such as be­ing in­volved in a car ac­ci­dent or dig­ging your nose.

In win­ter, the air tends to be dry and colds are more prom­i­nent, which re­sults in the mem­branes in your nose dry­ing up from the dry air in­haled.

Ex­ces­sive blow­ing of your nose in­creases the build up of pres­sure, which causes dis­rup­tions in your nose, lead­ing to leak­age of blood from your nos­trils. Nose bleeds can also oc­cur in hot and dry

NOSE BLEEDS CAN BE THE RE­SULT OF TRAUMA OR IN­JURY TO YOUR FACE

con­di­tions with low hu­mid­ity. These un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dences can be caused by sea­sonal al­ler­gies, as well as climb­ing up high al­ti­tudes.

Those who have is­sues with high blood pres­sure and drug abuse suf­fer nose bleeds more than oth­ers.

HOW TO STOP IT

Stay calm and sit up straight with your head sightly for­ward, this helps to keep the blood from drain­ing down the back of your throat.

Spit out any blood that ac­cu­mu­lates in your mouth.

Do not stuff tis­sue pa­per, cotton or other ma­te­rial into your nose.

Do not lie down or tilt your head back. Firmly pinch your nos­trils by squeez­ing the soft part of your nose shut.

Apply steady pres­sure on your nose for at least 10 min­utes. Most nose bleeds of­ten stop be­tween 10 to 30 min­utes of di­rect pres­sure. If it does not stop, con­sult your doc­tor im­me­di­ately.

Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth on the cross bridge of your nose to en­cour­age vaso­con­stric­tion, (the con­stric­tion of blood ves­sels, which in­creases blood pres­sure). This will help to re­duce blood leak­age.

After the bleed­ing has stopped, avoid force­ful nose blow­ing, stren­u­ous ac­tiv­ity and do not take aspirin or ibupro­fen for five to seven days.

For chronic or se­vere nose­bleeds, call your doc­tor or go to the hos­pi­tal for eval­u­a­tion. These nose­bleeds may re­quire cau­ter­i­sa­tion (the burn­ing of a part of a body to re­move or close off a part of it), nose pack­ing and oc­ca­sion­ally in­va­sive pro­ce­dures to stop the bleed­ing.

Nasal sprays should not be used for more than five days be­cause of their abil­ity to worsen nasal con­ges­tion.

PREVEN­TION TIPS

Nose bleeds are spon­ta­neous in­ci­dences that oc­cur at the odd­est hour.

How­ever there are some use­ful tricks to pre­vent them, such as avoid­ing ex­ces­sive hard blow­ing of your nose, as well as main­tain­ing good hy­giene and not dig­ging your nose.

Avoid over us­ing cold and al­lergy med­i­ca­tion, as well as cut­ting down on smok­ing as smok­ing dries up your nos­trils.

You can buy a hu­mid­i­fier (a de­vice that in­creases mois­ture in a room) to en­sure your home con­tains moist air that will not dry up your nose.

In terms of di­etary in­take, you are en­cour­aged to drink lots of wa­ter to re­main hy­drated.

If you have high blood pres­sure, try to man­age it by ex­er­cis­ing reg­u­larly and eat­ing a healthy bal­anced diet.

Seek im­me­di­ate med­i­cal at­ten­tion if your nose bleed does not stop, you feel weak and dizzy, if faint­ing oc­curs and if the nose­bleed is as­so­ci­ated with trauma to your face, which could re­sult in loss of con­scious­ness or blurred vi­sion.

Be vig­i­lant as mi­nors tend to push for­eign ob­jects up their noses. When a nose bleed is ac­com­pa­nied by a fever or headache in an in­fant, bring this to your doc­tor's at­ten­tion.

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