While nosebleeds can affect people of any age, they are more common among older adults and young children. While frequent nosebleeds should never be taken lightly, as they can be a sign of a more serious problem, most occasional nosebleeds can be quickly and easily relieved.
In children, the most common cause of nosebleeds is the introduction of fingers or objects into the nose. Dry air can also cause nosebleeds, in both children and adults. Other common causes of nosebleeds include the use of blood-thinning medications, allergies or upper respiratory infections involving the nose or sinuses, the use of medications that irritate the nasal passages, an injury, and certain diseases.
A good way to prevent nosebleeds is to keep well hydrated and to increase the humidity level in the ambient air. Also avoid blowing your nose too hard, or using your fingers or a cotton swab to clean your nostrils. To prevent children from putting their fingers in their nose and scratching their nasal lining, it is recommended that you keep their fingernails cut short.
There are many drugstore products available to maintain the nasal membrane clean and hydrated. Nasal saline sprays are very useful, as they improve comfort by dislodging the crusts that form in the winter. Various gels are also available. Applying them regularly helps keep nostrils hydrated, prevents small cuts and increases comfort.
If you get a nosebleed, sit down and bend forward slightly forward. Place your thumb and index finger just below the bony bridge and pinch the nostrils for ten minutes without interruption. To stop the bleeding from restarting, avoid blowing your nose, bending over, strenuous activity and heavy lifting for the next few hours. If the bleeding continues for more than twenty minutes, see a doctor.