Home > Health Library > Stopping a Nosebleed
Most nosebleeds occur in the front of the nose and involve only
one nostril. Some blood may drain down the back of the nose into the throat.
These nosebleeds typically are not serious, and you can generally treat them
yourself at home.
A less common but more serious type of nosebleed
starts in the back of the nose and often involves both nostrils. Large amounts
of blood may run down the back of the throat. This type of nosebleed may occur
more frequently in older adults because of health conditions they may have. You
will need treatment from a doctor to control bleeding from this type of
Follow these steps to stop a
After you have stopped a
nosebleed, the following tips may prevent a nosebleed from happening
Nosebleeds may develop in people who have colds or
chronic hay fever symptoms (postnasal drip, sneezing, or a runny, stuffy, or
itchy nose) because nasal tissues become inflamed and irritated. Using
medicines may relieve the symptoms, leading to less inflammation and irritation
and fewer nosebleeds. But overuse of allergy medicines may lead to nosebleeds
because of their overdrying side effects. If you have a lot of nosebleeds, talk
to your doctor about the proper use of cold and allergy medicines.
If you are helping someone else stop a nosebleed, avoid touching the
other person's blood. Use gloves, if available, or layers of fabric or a
plastic bag to protect yourself.
March 25, 2013
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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