Red Flags Linked to Nosebleeds That You Must Know

Oct 26, 2023

Urgent Care


If you find blood after wiping your nose, it indicates that you have suffered a nosebleed. It is a common medical condition, with nearly 60% of people experiencing it at some point. In most cases, nosebleeds aren't severe and can be resolved at home. Only 10% of patients require medical attention. Let's look into this topic and identify the associated red flags.

What Is a Nosebleed (Epistaxis)?

A nosebleed is the loss of blood from the tissue that lines the inside of your nose. The nasal septum has many blood vessels, leading to blood flow when certain factors aggravate it. While it may happen in both nostrils, more often, it occurs in one nostril. Anyone can have a nosebleed, but it is more commonly seen among children between the ages of 2-10 and adults above 50.

Doctors, based on credible sites, classify epistaxis into 2 types:

  • Anterior Nosebleeds

They occur in the front of your nose, on the lower part of the septum, where the blood vessels are more fragile. It is the more common type of nosebleed often seen in children. Mainly, they don't require medical treatment. 

  • Posterior Nosebleeds

They occur when the larger blood vessels deep inside the nose bleed. They may require treatment as they may cause heavy bleeding. This condition is more common among adults. 

  • Causes of Nosebleeding

Hot and dry air is the most common cause of nose bleeding as it dries out the delicate nasal membrane, making it cracked and crusty. In such a scenario, picking or blowing your nose may lead to nose bleeding. However, several other factors may cause nose bleeding, such as:

  • Injuries or trauma to the nose
  • Repeated sneezing and nose blowing during allergies and infections
  • Blood thinning medicines 
  • High altitudes due to increased dryness and thinning of the air
  • Exposure to certain chemicals
  • Frequent use of nasal sprays 
  • Intake of recreational drugs
  • Deviated septum 
  • Stress 

Other nose bleeding causes, though rare, include:

  • Use of alcohol
  • Medical conditions such as:
  1. Pregnancy
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Bleeding disorders
  4. Nasal tumors and polyps
  5. Atherosclerosis
  6. Face and nose surgery
  7. Blood cancer
  8. Genetic disorders

Does High Blood Pressure Cause Nose Bleeding?

If you have high blood pressure, the blood vessels are prone to damage due to increased pressure, and this may be a reason for nose bleeding. However, according to the American Heart Association, if you suffer from a hypertensive crisis, a medical condition in which your blood pressure is extremely high, you may experience nose bleeding directly linked to your BP stats.

When Do Nosebleeds Become Alarming?

Seeing blood flow out from the nose may be unsettling, but usually, it is not a matter of great concern. However, nosebleeds can become alarming if you experience:

  • Profuse bleeding
  • Frequent nosebleeds that interrupt your daily routine
  • Blood flow does not stop after 20 minutes of direct pressure and home care methods
  • Unexplained cause of nosebleeding
  • 3 nose bleeding episodes a day, along with headaches

 When Must You Visit Urgent Care for Nose Bleeding?

Despite your self-care efforts to stop nose bleeding, you may need professional healthcare if it persists. You must visit an urgent care for nose bleeding if:

  • Bleeding continues for more than 30 minutes 
  • The patient is less than 2 years old
  • 3 nosebleeds in one day 
  • Prior history of nose bleeding-related hospitalization
  • Take blood thinning medication
  • Nose Bleeding occurs after an injury or trauma
  • Nosebleeding is triggered after taking a new medicine
  • Anemic 
  • Along with epistaxis, you experience bruising on your body
  • Suffer from blood clotting disorders

Types of Treatments for Nose Bleed

As mentioned above, most nosebleeds are cured with home care. The nose bleeding treatments you may try at home are:

  • Squeeze the soft part of your nose against the hard and bony ridge for 5 minutes. If the bleeding continues, try it again for 10 more minutes.
  • Apply an ice pack or cold compress on the bridge of your nose, which helps the blood vessels to contract.
  • Use an over-the-counter nasal decongestant spray.

However, if you need medical attention, the epistaxis treatment you may receive at an urgent care include:

  • Nasal packing: The nostril is packed with gauze, nasal sponges, or latex balloons for 24-48 hours to create pressure on the bleeding spot.
  • Cauterization: The bleeding blood vessel is sealed using heat energy or silver nitrate.
  • Changes in medications: The dosage of medicines that can cause nose bleeding is adjusted or stopped altogether.
  • Ligation: The blood vessel causing the bleeding is tied.
  • Surgery: It is an option if you have a broken nose or a deviated septum.

Final Words

Each instance of nose bleeding or epistaxis you experience may not be alarming, but you must be informed about the red flags associated with nosebleeds. It enables you to take appropriate measures that facilitate faster relief, such as visiting an urgent care near you.

Get Prompt and Quality Care in Bakersfield, CA, at StatMD Urgent Care 

Our licensed and experienced team at StatMD Urgent Care has provided high standards of care for various non-life-threatening conditions since 2004. Open 365 days a year, our clinic is equipped with the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies that allow us to offer you the best solutions for your unique health needs. For more information on the services we offer, contact us today.


Q. Why do I have four nosebleeds a day?

 4 nosebleeds a day may signify a more serious health condition such as a bleeding disorder, tumor in the nose or sinus, or very high blood pressure.

Q. What causes a nosebleed in one nostril?

 Nose bleeding in one nostril is caused by a deviated septum or due to the presence of a prominent blood vessel on one side of the nose.

Q. Can stress cause nosebleeds?

Stress does not directly cause nosebleeds, but certain stress-induced behaviors or health conditions may be responsible for nosebleeds.

Q. How long do nosebleeds last?

A. Most nosebleeds last a few minutes, but if it lasts more than 15 minutes, get medical care as soon as possible.

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