How to Stop a Nose Bleed
Nosebleeds can happen after nasal injuries, overzealous picking or
blowing, or simply because you tend to get them. They're pretty common,
and rarely life-threatening. Here's how to stay calm and stop the
Method One: Tissues
1Hold a tissue or soft cloth to your nose. This can be done with one
hand, so you can use the other to continue holding a tissue or cloth
beneath your nostrils. Minimizing the mess will lessen your irritation
with the nosebleed when it's over.<
Method Two: Pinch
1Lean forward and pinch your nostrils shut for 5-10 minutes. Doing this
should help the blood clot and stop running, the same way it does when
you hold a bandage to a wound on your skin.
2Pinch both nostrils completely shut. While you do this, you can breathe
through your mouth.
3Lean forward as much as you can. This keeps the blood in your nose,
instead of allowing it to run down your throat.
4Wait 10 minutes. It seems like an incredibly long wait, but it's worth
it if it stops the bleeding. Try to stay calm andthink happy thoughts, so
that your blood pressure and heart rate stay low.
Method Three: Cold Compress
1Apply a cold compress over the bridge of your nose. The cold will cause
blood vessels to constrict, slowing the bleeding. Try one of these
methods:Wet a washcloth with cold water. It's not as cold as it could be,
but it's more comfortable than ice on your skin and it should still help.
Make a quick ice pack. Put ice inside a resealable plastic bag, and hold
it on top of your nose. Crushed ice is ideal, but cubed works, too.
Keep frozen sponges handy. If you tend to get nosebleeds often, this
trick can save you a lot of time. Get a new kitchen sponge, add a bit of
water to it, and put it into a resealable plastic bag. Put the bag in the
freezer, and pull out a sponge whenever you have a nosebleed ¡ª?it'll be
easier than hassling with ice cubes while you're bleeding.
Method Four: Call a Doctor
1Know when to call a doctor. Most nosebleeds aren't serious, and don't
require emergency medical care. Some do, though, so here's when you
should get help:You're still bleeding after 20 minutes.
Bleeding started after a head injury.
Your nose was hit, and you suspect it's broken.
Preventing Future Nosebleeds
1Combat dryness. Many people suffer nosebleeds during periods of the year
when the air is dryer, or if they live in a desert climate. Here's what
you can do to mitigate the risks:Run a humidifier. Humidifiers are
available cheaply, and they're easy to manage. Run one while you sleep
and turn it off while you're gone during the day.
Use a nasal saline spray. Saline spray doesn't have anything in it but
¡ª?you guessed it ¡ª?salt, so its primary purpose is simply to wet your
nasal passages. Use it a few times a day.
2Keep your cool. Heat can sometimes lead to nosebleeds, so take steps to
keep your body and your environment a little cooler.Run fans or air
conditioning inside your house.
Wear breathable cotton clothing.
Stay hydrated and drink cool water.
Run cool water over your wrists.
3Avoid picking your nose too often, especially if you've had a recent
nosebleed. Foreign objects in the nose can dislodge the blood clot and
trigger a new nosebleed.<
If you get nosebleeds often, talk to your doctor.
During a severe nosebleed, don't be surprised if blood starts dripping
from the corner of your eye next to your nose. The lacrimal duct there is
connected to the nasal sinuses and blood can flow out of it during a bad
Stay calm. If you start bleeding in front of people, don't be worried. It
can happen to anybody.
Clotting disorders likehemophiliaand anticoagulant medications
likewarfarincan prolong bleeding because they impair the body's ability
to clot blood. Apply more pressure for a longer period of time.
If you're terrified of blood or caring for a child who may be, use a red
cloth to hide the sight of it.
Be calm . It's just a nosebleed. It's normal.
Don't lie down or tilt your head backward while you're bleeding. This
allows blood to run down your throat and poses a choking hazard. It also
allows blood to collect in your stomach, which could cause vomiting.
While this is rare in the case of nosebleeds, blood loss can be
dangerous. If you have a lost a great deal of blood, call an ambulance or
get someone to take you to the emergency room.
How to Remove Blood Stains
How to Treat a Wound
How to Use a Tissue
Sources and Citations
Institutes of Health information on nosebleeds