Winter Is Coming
As the cold and dry weather begins and the furnaces kick into full gear, we often look forward to grabbing a blanket and cuddling on the couch to watch our favorite holiday movies. However, nothing is worse than getting a nosebleed while you’re trying to relax and enjoy the beautiful Colorado winter. Growing up in Colorado, I have had my fair share of nosebleeds, and I know many of you have as well. It seems like they always occur at just the wrong time, and you never know how long it will take to stop them. For these reasons, nosebleeds can interfere with your day-to-day events and even prevent you from engaging in activities you enjoy. Let’s take a little time to talk about the best ways to prevent nosebleeds, and then discuss the best way to stop a nosebleed.
How to prevent nosebleeds – Moisture, moisture, moisture
Using a humidifier is a good way to add moisture to your environment. Even though whole house humidifiers on the furnace are helpful, it will be even more beneficial to have a humidifier right next to your side of the bed at night. If you have a CPAP machine or oxygen that you use, make sure you have a humidifier on the machine/tank. If you don’t, contact the supply company, and ask if you can have a humidifier added.
The use of nasal moisturizers is extremely important in the efforts to prevent nosebleeds. Saline nasal spray can be used all throughout the day – it is convenient to use because you can take the can with you and spray it in your nose as needed. Saline nasal gel is something I would highly recommend you use at least twice a day. There are various brands such as AYR, NeilMed, and Rhinase. I recommend either applying the gel by putting a pea size amount on a qtip and gently massaging it about 1cm into the right and left nostril; or by putting a pea size amount on the tip of your finger, holding your finger up to your nostril, and gently sniffing the gel into your nose.
How to stop a nosebleed
My favorite way to stop a nosebleed is as follows:
- Soak cotton (i.e. cotton ball, rolled dental cotton) with OTC Afrin nasal spray
- Place afrin soaked cotton into the nostril that is bleeding
- Pinch your nose at the nostrils to apply pressure for 15 minutes
- Lean forward a little bit or stay upright (just don’t lay backward) to prevent blood from running down your throat
- After 15 minutes, if it is still bleeding, then replace the cotton with a new piece of afrin soaked cotton and repeat the process again
- If bleeding continues, go to the ER, urgent care, or call our clinic for evaluation If you find yourself having nosebleeds frequently or having nosebleeds that are difficult to stop, please call our clinic! We will be happy to evaluate for the source of bleeding and offer treatment options, including in office cautery with silver nitrate