How to Stop a Nosebleed

Remain calm, sit up straight and lean forward. Lean your head forward. Tilting your head back may cause you to swallow the blood. Pinch the nostrils together and apply direct pressure with the thumb and index finger for approximately 10 minutes. Time it to make sure the nostrils are not released earlier. Spit out any blood in the mouth. Swallowing blood may cause vomiting. This technique will stop the majority of simple nosebleeds. Once the bleeding has stopped, try to prevent any further irritation to the nose, such as sneezing, nose blowing, or straining for 24 hours. Ice packs do not help nosebleeds. Exposure to dry air, such as a heated home in the winter, can contribute to the problem. Adding moisture to the air with a humidifier or vaporizer will help prevent the nose from drying out and triggering more bleeding. Another option is to place a pan filled with water near a heat source, such as a radiator, which allows the water to evaporate and adds moisture to the air. Nasal saline sprays and other lubricating ointments or gels also may be useful to promote tissue healing and will keep the nasal passages moist.

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