Nosebleeds are one of the most common medical problems in teenagers.
They can be caused by a number of factors, and require different treatments depending on what is causing them. When should you see a doctor?
And just how long will it take for your nose to stop bleeding? We'll answer all these questions and more in this article:
What are the different types of nosebleeds?
Nosebleeds (epistaxis) are classified by the location of where they occur and there are two types:
90% of nosebleeds are caused by an anterior nosebleed. The bleeding begins in the front portion of the nose and is often a result of allergies, nasal picking, or dry air.
Posterior nosebleeds usually originate from deeper regions of the nose and are difficult to treat; airway obstructions, high blood pressure, or trauma are some of the causes of these types of bleeding.
Causes Of Nosebleeds In Teenagers
What are the common causes of nosebleeds in teenagers?
Nosebleeds can be caused by a number of factors, including but not exclusive to:
- Dry air (e.g., wind) - Dry air is one of the most common reasons for nose bleeds, especially during winter months when heating systems use indoor air to warm rooms. When cold air is blown through heated elements it becomes extremely dehydrating which leads to nasal drying out. This makes our noses more susceptible to irritation which could lead to an anterior bleed if rubbed too hard with tissues!
- Allergies to pollen or dust mites - Allergic reactions to airborne allergens such as pollen or dust mites can cause irritation and inflammation of the nasal membranes which leads to redness, itching, sneezing. These factors combined could lead to a nose bleed if you're rubbing your nose too hard from allergies!
- Sneezing fits - There's nothing worse than having an allergy induced sneeze fit and bleeding all over yourself in public... but it is possible! If you have severe allergies that trigger lots of sneezes this could be another reason for causing an anterior nosebleed.
- Injury - Severe trauma, such as car accidents with airbag deployment or sports related injuries (i.e., football), is one of the most common causes for nosebleeds.
- High blood pressure - If you have high blood pressure this could also cause nose bleeds as it can lead to ruptured vessels inside the nostrils that are only visible during a bleed! This is why if your doctor has ever told you that you have high blood pressure, or hypertension, make sure they check for any signs of bleeding afterwards.
- Smoking cigarettes - Smoking causes chronic inflammation in the nasal cavity which leads to dryness and flaking skin (a little like when our lips get chapped!). A build up of these tiny flakes on your tissues acts like sandpaper and will irritate/damage the membranes in your nose making them more susceptible to erythema (redness). Irritated blood vessels in the nose will then start to leak tiny amounts of blood, which if enough builds up could lead to a bleed.
- Trauma - Nose picking or rubbing can cause trauma and trigger a bleed... ouch! This is why it's so important not to pick your nose too hard when you have allergies or other conditions that make them hurt/itch! If you have an allergic reaction try using antihistamines before touching your face at all.
How To Stop Nosebleeds In Teenagers?
Depending on the cause of your nosebleed, different treatments will be required.
For anterior bleeds there are several steps below which may help with stopping an episode! These include holding direct pressure at the top end for five minutes.
This can be done by pinching both nostrils together, ensuring they stay firmly shut. This will stop the bleeding in most cases and if not, you can then place a cold compress on your nose for ten minutes.
You could also try placing an ice pack over both of your eyes at the same time which should help with any swelling around the eye sockets!
If these treatments do not work or there is still blood present after 20-30 minutes it's important that you visit your nearest A&E department to receive further treatment such as cauterising (burning) of vessels inside your nose using silver nitrate sticks/sprays.
There are many other techniques within this procedure but this method has been proven successful thus far by stopping bleeds in their tracks during anterior episodes!
If posterior bleeds occur then applying firm pressure behind each of your ears for five minutes will encourage the blood to clot and stop the bleeding.
You should also speak with your doctor if you feel that they are severe enough to interfere with daily life or become constant, as there is likely an underlying cause which could be worsened by ignoring it!
This can sometimes be due to high blood pressure, allergies or stress etc. If this is not treated then over time symptoms of these conditions may worsen (i.e., nose bleeds becoming more frequent).
When To See A Doctor?
If you are experiencing nose bleeds for no reason then it is important that you speak with your doctor to find out why this may be happening.
They will ask about any symptoms, medical history and medications you are taking which could all lead towards a cause of the problem...
If you suffer from a posterior bleed it's important that you see a doctor immediately if:
- You cannot breathe through one side of your nose or mouth
- You have lost feeling around the base of your skull and back into your neck
- There is numbness or weakness down one side (extension)
- Your eyesight becomes affected (e.g., double vision).
How To Prevent Nosebleeds In Teenagers?
There are several ways to prevent nosebleeds in teenagers...
If you suffer from allergies, try using antihistamines before touching your face. If this doesn't work then be sure to speak with your doctor about other options such as nasal sprays or drops which may help (this is also a great reason why it's important not to pick or rub at your nose too hard).
Make sure that if you touch/pick the inside of your noses that they're clean and free from any flakes etc., these can scratch and irritate skin leading towards redness and ultimately bleeding!
Be careful when blowing your nose too - for example, don't blow into tissues but rather hold them against the sides so your nose isn't forced up under your eyes. If you have ever had a cut inside your nose it's important that you don't blow too hard at all as this could cause the skin to become weak and tear again - if this does happen, be sure to see a doctor immediately!
If you are under stress or find yourself struggling with school/college work then try speaking to someone about these issues which may help ease some of the tension in your life...stress can definitely play its part in many health problems so learning how to deal with it is one of the most effective ways of managing your well being.
Keep an eye on any medications that you take for allergies etc., they should always be taken as directed by either yourself or prescribed by a healthcare professional (e.g ., the last thing you want to do is take too much medication and end up harming your body)
Get a good night's sleep, this will help with many things such as keeping blood pressure levels healthy which can reduce nosebleeds if they are caused by high blood pressure. Make sure that you eat well but don't overdo it on sugary foods - most of us know how bad these are for our health!
Finally, make time every day to exercise... a quick half-hour jog may not sound like fun at first but once you begin seeing results from your efforts then it definitely becomes worth doing! Your brain function improves when exercising so this is another key way in maintaining top notch physical and mental health.