The sight of blood after blowing your nose may concern you, but it’s often not serious. A staggering 60 million Americans have a bloody nose each year. Blowing your nose often can cause bleeding because of the large amount of blood in your nose.
If this happens only occasionally, or for a brief time, you can try home-based and prescription treatments.
Because of damage to your nasal passages, you may experience some or all of the following: The septum of your nose is where most nosebleeds occur, especially in the lower part of the nose. The septum is the place where your nose splits into 2 different sides.
There are many blood vessels in the nose that can become damaged from a variety reasons. Blowing your nose more often may cause bleeding. This is because the scab that was covering the blood vessel may have broken off during healing.
Here are some reasons why you might experience bleeding when blowing your nostrils:
Cold, dry weather
You might notice bleeding when you blow your nose more often in winter months. This is when cold and dry air can damage your nose’s blood vessels because there isn’t enough moisture in your nose. You may notice it becoming more dry and irritated during winter, when you are in heated indoor environments without humidity.
Dryness in the nose can also delay the healing of broken blood vessels, and cause infection. This can lead you to experience more frequent bleeding while blowing your nose.
Picking your nose can damage blood vessels. Bloody noses are a common problem in children who pick their noses.
Foreign objects in the nose
You may also experience trauma to your nose’s blood vessels if a foreign object enters your nose. Young children might put something in their noses. Even the tip of a nasal spray applicator might get stuck in a person’s nose.
One study showed that 5 percent of participants who used steroid sprays for allergic and nonallergic rhinoitis developed a bloody nose within two months.
Nasal congestion and respiratory infections
Nasal congestion, a respiratory infection, or nasal bleeding can cause bleeding. Breathing in your nose frequently can cause broken blood vessels. This can also happen if you cough or sneeze often, as a result of a respiratory condition. You might experience nasal congestion, sinusitis, allergies, sinusitis or another health condition that can lead to respiratory infections.
Blowing your nose can cause bleeding due to the anatomical structure of your nose. You could have a deviated or damaged septum, holes in your septum, bony spikes, or fractures to the nose. If you have one of these conditions your nose might not be receiving enough moisture. This can lead to your nose bleeding when it is blown.
Surgery or injury
Blood can result from any injury to your nose or facial area.
Exposure to chemical substances
Drugs like cocaine and exposure to harsh chemicals such as ammonia can cause damage to blood vessels in the nose.
Some medications may cause bleeding when you blow your nostrils. Aspirin, warfarin and other blood-thinning medications can cause bleeding when you blow your nose.
Tumors in the nose
A tumor in the nose can cause bloody noses very rarely. You may also notice the following symptoms:
- pain around your eyes
- Nasal congestion that gradually gets worse
- Sensitivity to smell has declined
You can treat this condition at home if you suspect the cause isn’t serious.
You should treat blood that is gushing from your nose after blowing by doing the following until it stops bleeding:
- sitting down
- Your head should be pointing forward
- Your nose shutting
- Breathe through your mouth
Once bleeding has stopped, elevate your head and keep your nose away from your heart for several hours.
After you’ve gotten a heavy nose bleed under control or if you’re trying to treat a minor nose bleed, you should consider:
- You can add moisture to your nose with a saline solution
- Avoid picking at your nose, nose blowing, and inserting foreign objects in your nostrils while it heals.
- Apply petroleum jelly to your nose every day using a cotton swab.
- Humidifiers can add moisture to the atmosphere during dry and cold seasons.
Your doctor should be consulted if you have severe nosebleeds that last more than 15 to 20 minutes or if your nose is bleeding frequently when you blow your nose. Your doctor will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend treatment to prevent it from happening again. This could include home treatments, cautery or nasal packing, as well as surgical intervention.
Millions of Americans experience nosebleeds every year. It may seem harmless and can be treated at home.
If you feel that your nose is bleeding due to a more serious condition, or if your nose is bleeding frequently or severely, you should consult your doctor.