The nose is rich in blood vessels (vascular) and is situated in a vulnerable position. Trauma to the face can cause nasal injury and bleeding. 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.
The nose contains many small blood vessels that bleed easily. Air moving through the nose can dry and irritate the membranes lining the inside of the nose, forming crusts. These crusts bleed when irritated by rubbing, picking or blowing the nose.
A deviated septum, foreign object or other nasal blockage can also cause a nosebleed. The lining of the nose is more likely to become dry and irritated from low humidity, allergies, colds or sinusitis. Thus, nosebleeds occur more frequently in the winter when viruses are common and heated indoor air dries out the nostrils.
Frequent or heavy nosebleeds may indicate more serious health problems such as high blood pressure (hypertension), and should be checked.
Among older people, blood takes longer to clot, so they are at risk of losing more blood. Infection, trauma (including nose picking, especially among children), allergic and non-allergic rhinitis, high blood pressure and use of blood thinning medications predispose a person to nose bleeds.
* Lying down is not recommended when your nose bleeds. Avoid sniffing or blowing your nose for at least twelve hours after as well.
* Have two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in one glass of water, thrice a day. It helps reinstate your blood’s natural clotting properties.
* Drink vegetable juice made from mint, coriander and spinach. It is rich in vitamin K, which prevents bleeding.
* Smell fumes of freshly cut onion. They act as a natural mucous forming agent which stops bleeding very quickly.
* Apply cold compresses or ice across the bridge of the nose. Do not pack the inside of the nose with gauze.
* Keep air inside your room moist by using a humidifier.
* Keep the nasal passage moist, avoid smoking.
* Increase your vitamin C intake. It is useful in formation of collagen — an integral part of body tissue.
* Keep your mouth open when you sneeze to avoid pressure in your nasal cavity.
* Keep tabs on your blood pressure level. Increasing your intake of vitamin A and vitamin C and consuming amla juice regularly reduces nose bleeds.
Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and the founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre