John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
The nose is a part of the body rich in blood vessels (vascular) and is
located in a vulnerable position
protruding on the face. As a result, trauma to the face can cause nasal injury and bleeding. The bleeding may be profuse, or simply a minor complication. Nosebleeds can occur spontaneously when the nasal membranes dry out and crack. This is common in dry climates, or during the winter months when the air is dry and warm from household heaters. People are more susceptible to
a bloody nose if they take medications that prevent normal blood clotting
clopidogrel [Plavix], aspirin, or any anti-inflammatory medication). In this situation, even a minor trauma could result in significant bleeding.
The incidence of nosebleeds is higher during the colder winter months when
upper respiratory infections are more frequent, and the temperature and humidity fluctuate more dramatically. In addition, changes from a bitter cold
outside environment to a warm, dry, heated home result in drying and changes in
the nose which make it more susceptible to bleeding. Nosebleeds also occur in
hot dry climates with low humidity, or when there is a change in the seasons.
The following risk factors predispose people to nosebleeds:
Trauma, including self-induced by nose picking, especially in children
If you get a nosebleed, sit down and bend forward. Sitting is preferable to lying down, since keeping the head above the level of the heart will help reduce the bleeding. Bending forward is also important. It lets the blood drain out through the nose rather than down the throat.
Hold the soft portion of your nose pinched together with your fingers until the bleeding stops. This might take five to ten minutes. Placing an ice pack across the bridge of your nose can also be helpful.