1. Ear, Nose & Throat Problems


Signs & Symptoms

  1. Bleeding from a nostril.

  2. Bleeding from the nose and down the back of the throat.


Nosebleeds are often caused by broken blood vessels just inside the nose. Risk factors include:

  1. A cold or allergies.

  2. Frequent nose blowing and picking.

  3. Dry environment.

  4. Using too much nasal spray.

  5. A punch or other blow to the nose.

A nosebleed is serious when heavy bleeding from deep within the nose is hard to stop. This type occurs most often in the elderly. It can be caused by: Hardening of nasal blood vessels; high blood pressure; and medicines that treat blood clots.


Self-care treats most nosebleeds. If needed, a doctor can pack the nostril to stop the bleeding or do a treatment that seals the blood vessel that bleeds.

Pinching the Nostrils Shut

Self-Care / Prevention

  1. Sit with your head leaning forward. Pinch the nostrils shut. Use your thumb and forefinger to gently squeeze the nose’s midsection.

  2. Hold for up to 20 minutes without stopping. Use a clock to time this. Breathe through your mouth while you do this. Repeat a second time, if needed. If a second attempt fails, go to an urgent care center or hospital emergency department.

  3. Don’t take aspirin or other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs.

  4. For the next 24 hours, elevate your head above the level of your heart. Also, wait 24 hours before you blow your nose, lift heavy objects, or exercise hard.

Did the nosebleed start after taking newly prescribed medicine? Or, do nosebleeds occur often?

Is blood from a nosebleed going down the back of the throat or backward into the mouth?

Did the nosebleed follow a blow to the head or nose or a severe headache? Or, does the nosebleed occur in a person taking blood-thinning medicine?

In the past 48 hours, did 3 or more nosebleeds occur and did each one take longer than 10 minutes to stop?

Questions to Ask