Nosebleeds and Their Causes

What causes frequent nose bleeding?

Nose bleeds can either occur out of one nostril or out of both, and this difference can provide clues to the cause of the problem.

If you have only one nostril going when you get a nose bleed, you may want to consider whether you're playing too harshly with your toys, so to speak; very often, single-nostril bleeds occur through mechanical trauma. In other words, you may be making those thin inner nose membranes unhappy through too much or harsh nose blowing or picking. Dry air is another possibility, since these membranes can dry out and be more prone to cracking. In this case, it may be beneficial to swab the membranes with a thick lubricant, such as petroleum jelly, in order to prevent any further bleeds.

On the other hand, if your nose bleeds are a joint effort with both nostrils contributing, then direct irritation is an unlikely culprit. In this case, the bleeding results from a greater amount of blood gathering in the nasal membranes than usual in combination with irritation. These conditions can be set about by several causes. Hypertension is a possibility, as is a vitamin deficiency, some bleeding disorders, and drug abuse.

Ready for this one, ladies? For women, nose bleeds may also occur periodically following the hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle. In a process called vicarious menstruation, surging estrogen levels in the bloodstream can cause the vessels in the nose to fill up, leading to bleeds. Don't worry, though - this is a very rare occurrence. Whoever manufactures your maxi won't be coming out with something similar for your nose any time in the near future.

When a nose bleed does strike, it is best to stop the blood flow by gently pinching above the nostrils. You'll be sure to want to grab the soft tissue, since squeezing the harder cartilage that lies further up isn't going to help much at all. In more extreme cases where the blood cannot be stopped, it may be necessary to make a hospital visit so that a physician may pack the nose to stem the blood flow.

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