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Often caused by dry air or trauma, nosebleeds often resolve themselves at home. If you have a nosebleed that won’t stop, a medical provider can help find solutions and determine if there may be an underlying cause.

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What is a nosebleed?

Also called epistaxis, a nosebleed is the loss of blood from the tissues lining your nose. The tissue is made of many small blood vessels and when they become dry or irritated, they can break, resulting in your nose bleeding.

What causes a nosebleed?

The most common cause of a nosebleed is dry air, either from heated indoor air or hot, low-humidity climates, causing your nasal membranes to dry out. However, other irritants and agitation to your nose can also cause a nosebleed, including:

  • Infection from a cold, upper respiratory infection or other illness

  • Allergies

  • Blood-thinning medications

  • Chemical irritants from cleaning supplies or other strong odors

  • High altitudes

  • Deviated septum

  • Nasal sprays

How can I stop a nosebleed at home?

If you have a mild nosebleed, you may be able to treat it yourself. To stop a nosebleed:

  • Sit upright with your head in a neutral position

  • Hold a damp cloth gently at the base of your nose to catch the blood

  • Breathe through your mouth

  • Pinch the soft part of the bridge of your nose for at least 10 minutes without letting go

  • If your nose is still bleeding, continuing pinching for another 10 minutes

  • After the nosebleed stops, don’t bend over or lift anything heavy for several hours

If your nose is still bleeding after 15 minutes, you should seek the advice of a medical provider.

How will an urgent care provider treat my nosebleed?

First, your medical provider will want to learn more about the cause and severity of your nosebleed. They will likely ask questions about how long the nosebleed has lasted for, if you are taking any medications, how often you get nosebleeds and anything else they may find relevant.

Once they understand you and the specifics of your nosebleed, the medical provider will likely treat it with pressure and may follow up with nasal packing or cauterization. Other treatment may include recommendations for alternative medications or foreign body removal if the nosebleed was caused by an external object.

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When should you visit urgent care for nosebleed treatment?

If you are feeling uncomfortable or your nosebleed has lasted longer than 20 continuous minutes, WellNow Urgent Care can help. Check in online or walk in to a WellNow location nearest you.

This medical information has been reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Robert Biernbaum, Chief Medical Officer for WellNow Urgent Care.

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