Allergies and Nosebleeds

Nosebleed.jpgIf you regularly struggle with allergy symptoms, you may notice that your nose bleeds. This may occur only occasionally, or it might be a frequent issue. The good news is that this is common among people who deal with allergies and while they are certainly a nuisance, they are rarely life-threatening. Let's dive a little deeper into what casues them.

Why Does This Happen?

The nose contains many several tiny blood vessels that are damaged easily, which leads to nosebleeds. These vessels are so fragile that even air regularly moving through the nose can irritate the nasal membranes, causing damage to the blood vessels. Allergens dry out the nose, and that contributes to irritation and nosebleeds. Due to the drier air and abundance of cold viruses, nosebleeds are especially common in winter.

In terms of anatomical location, nosebleeds can occur in the nasal septum (the piece of tissue that separates your nose into two nasal passages) or farther back in the nasal cavity. Infections that are the result of allergies increase the likelihood of a nosebleed.

Other causes of Nosebleeds include:

  • Acute or chronic sinusitis 
  • Deviated septum
  • Overuse of nasal spray
  • The common cold
  • Trauma to the nose
  • Chemical irritants
  • A foreign object stuck in the nose

How to Stop Nosebleeds

The most effective method is taking your thumb and finger and gently squeezing the softest portion of your nose. You should breathe through your mouth and squeeze for at least 10 minutes. Do not stop squeezing to see if the nosebleed has stopped.

It is wise to avoid lying down with a nosebleed or blowing your nose. If the bleeding is persistent, consider using a decongestant nasal spray. These sprays can sometimes seal off the small blood vessels that cause bleeding. While a cold compress may help, you should avoid packing gauze on the inside of your nose.

When to See a Doctor for a Nosebleed

If the bleeding does not stop after 20 minutes, you should get immediate care. Go to the emergency room if the bleeding happens after a head injury. If you’ve been hit in the nose and you suspect your nose is broken, you should see your doctor.