Nosebleed (cont.)

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What precautions can you take to prevent nose bleeding?

The most common cause of a nose bleeds is drying of the nasal membranes. If a person is prone to recurrent nosebleeds, it is often helpful to lubricate the nose with an ointment of some type. The ointment can be applied gently with a Q-tip or fingertip up inside the nose, especially on the middle portion (the septum). Many people use remedies for nosebleeds such as A + D ointment, methylsalicylate/menthol (Mentholatum, BenGay, Icy Hot), Polysporin, neomycin/bacitracin/polymyxin (Neosporin ointment), or Vaseline. Saline mist nasal spray is often helpful (Ocean Spray).

When should you call your doctor or go to an emergency room?

  • If bleeding cannot be stopped or keeps occurring.
  • If bleeding is rapid, or if blood loss is large.
  • If you feel weak or faint.
  • If your nosebleed is associated with trauma to the face, loss of consciousness, or blurry vision.
  • If your nosebleed is associated with a fever or headache.
  • If your infant or baby has a nosebleed, contact the pediatrician.

If the nosebleed persists or is recurrent, see your doctor, who may recommend stopping the nosebleed with a heating instrument or chemical swab (cautery of the blood vessel that is causing the trouble) or application of a topical medicine called thrombin that promotes local clotting of blood. Blood tests may be ordered to check for bleeding disorders. If bleeding is still persistent, the doctor may place nasal packs, which compress the vessels and stop the bleeding. In rare situations, you may be admitted to the hospital or require surgical treatment or a procedure where material is used to plug up the bleeding vessels in the nose (angiographic embolization).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/12/2014

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