Nose Bleed/epistaxis: Prevention and Complications

Prevention Tips

You can help to prevent nosebleeds by:
  • Not picking your nose
  • Blow your nose gently
  • Using a humidifier if your indoor climate is dry during the winter months
  • Using a nonprescription saline nasal spray to moisturize the inside of your nose
  • Applying a dab of nasal gel or petroleum jelly to the inside of your nostrils before bedtime
  • Avoiding facial trauma by wearing a seatbelt and shoulder harness in the car and by using well-fitting headgear to protect your face during contact sports, such as football or karate
  • Using protective equipment to avoid breathing irritating chemicals at work
  • Quit smoking. Smoking dries out your nose and irritates it
  • Add a humidifier to your furnace or run a humidifier in your bedroom at night.

Watch Out

  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Persistent nasal stuffiness or a foul-smelling nasal discharge

When to See Doctor

Consult a doctor if
  • You cannot stop a nosebleed by using the first-aid measures
  • Bleeding is rapid, or if blood loss is large.
  • You feel weak or faint
  • Your nosebleed is associated with trauma to the face, loss of consciousness, or blurry vision, fever or headache

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