If your overall general health is of high quality, blood when blowing nose, or epistaxis as it is formally known, is not normally a big cause for concern. It is always right to get yourself checked out by a doctor when you have bleeding from any area of the body but from time to time, it could just be a normal day to day thing.
Most nosebleeds are anterior nosebleeds which means the blood comes from just inside the nose. Your nose could be inflamed or irritated which often happens because of the air pollution around us, or you could be coming down with something. You might have sneezed a little too hard or blow your nose too strenuously. It could be a sign that the seasons are changing which, although it sounds rather odd, your body can still react to. The body is a very sensory being and when something changes, you will pick up on it.
For the most part, there is nothing to worry about when you spot blood when blowing your nose. Occasionally however, it can be a sign that something more serious is going on. If you are regularly bleeding from your nose, or it bleeds a lot / for prolonger periods of time, seek medical advice.
Regular Causes of Blood When Blowing Nose
There are many reasons behind blood when you’re blowing the nose. The area itself is filled with tiny capillaries and blood vessels and when too much pressure is placed on them, they can tear and become damaged very easily.
Wear & Tear / Damage
If you spot blood when you blow your nose, it could be a sign that you have damaged these blood vessels. A sharp nail can tear the delicate skin and blowing too hard can cause an increase in pressure and ruptured blood vessels and the obvious cause could be an injury to the nose – perhaps getting bashed or bumped.
Infections can also cause drying and cracking in the delicate area, causing blood once again.
Changes in Humidity or Temperature
In some cases, a change to the temperature or the humidity can affect the blood vessels, causing them to become dry and cracked and in turn, they can bleed causing the red spots you see after you’ve blown your nose.
High altitude can also cause the same problems.
If you suffer with congestion, especially chronic congestion, you are likely to have nose bleeds because the inner tissue lining of the nasal passages become inflamed. Any bumping or blowing of the nose is likely to cause damage, resulting in spots of blood.
Although not a cause for concern, this can be quite uncomfortable. There are some good congestion-busting over-the-counter remedies you can buy without the need for a prescription.
Many allergies cause a number of the symptoms we have already covered – congestion, cracking and drying out of the soft tissues in the nose, runny noses and more.
Allergies are actually a very common nose of nose bleeds both without or without blowing, and an over-the-counter antihistamine usually gets rid of the problem.
High Blood Pressure
When more pressure being pushed through those small, delicate capillaries and blood vessels, they are going to become damage and in some cases, rupture. Blood coming from the noses can be quite common in patients who suffer with high blood pressure, and the bleeding seems to last for longer too.
Some blood-thinning medical can affect the way the capillaries and blood vessels within the nose and many patients are advised not to blow their nose too strenuously when taking anticoagulant medication.
Capillaries are very close to the surface of the nasal lining which is what makes them so susceptible to damage. They need to be this close to the surface because they carry oxygen bubbles to the sensory organ. Patients on blood-thinning medication have been shown to have capillary damage more often and at a more advanced level so therefore need to be monitored to avoid blood when blowing nose.
In some cases, nose bleeds can be posterior nosebleeds which means the blood comes from further up. In these cases, the bleeding comes from between the roof of your mouth and the cavity that holds the brain. As you can imagine, this is generally a more serious case.
As a general rule, these posterior nosebleeds are of a more serious nature and tend to bleed more profusely than their anterior counterparts. In many cases, medical attention is required.
The cases of posterior nosebleeds can include an injury such as a bash or bump to the head, breaking the bones of the nose, surgery on the nose, arteries that have become hardened, tumours, blood disorders and in some very rare cases, leukaemia.
How to Stop Blood When Blowing Nose
If you think your nose bleed is a ‘regular’ nose bleed, as in you think there is nothing to worry about, the first thing you need to do is sit down.
Making a pinching motion with your fingers, find the soft part of the nose just beneath the bone (around the centre), and pinch it quite firmly. This is to stop the stem of blood. You may find that you need to do this for around ten to fifteen minutes before the bleeding stops.
If you find that blood is going down the back of your throat, lean forward. This will force it to come out through the nostrils rather than back down the throat. You should also breathe through your mouth rather than your nose to avoid disrupting the ‘drip’ or flow.
If the blood doesn’t stop, or you want to rush things along a little faster, use an ice pack (or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped up in a kitchen towel), and place it on the bridge of your nose. This will help to shrink the capillaries and slow down to eventually stop the flow of blood.
Although you may want to lie down, avoid doing this. Staying upright will help to stop the bleeding by reducing the pressure in the blood vessels.
If, after all these actions, you are still bleeding form your nose, you should seek medical attention.
You should also call medical attention if you are on blood thinning medication, if you turn pale, feel faint or have an irregular heartbeat / heart palpitations, if the nose bleed keeps stopping and starting, or if the nose bleed is happening to someone under the age of two.
If you have lost a lot of blood, can’t stop the bleeding within 20 minutes or less, you are having breathing difficulties or swallowing blood is making you vomit, you should also seek medical attention.
Other ways that you can prevent or stop nose bleeds include taking 25micrograms of vitamin K twice daily, increasing room humidity, eating more citrus foods and drinking more water.
*image source: stockimages / freedigitalphotos.net