Nosebleeds are common and, most of the time, there is a simple and direct cause. There is usually nothing to worry about but it’s important to find the cause, nonetheless. Not only will it put your mind at ease, but it means you can monitor the situation, find a treatment, and consult your doctor if it doesn’t go away.
With that said, let’s look at 10 reasons you might get a nosebleed.
1. You’re Hit in the Nose
It’s an obvious one, but it’s worth mentioning, nonetheless. If you’ve just gone 12 rounds with Anthony Joshua (or 10-seconds for that matter, because none of us are lasting that long) there’s a good chance you’ll have a busted nose when you clamber out of the ring.
But it takes much less than a right-hook from a world champion to cause a nosebleed. The blood vessels in your nose are very fragile. If you crush them with a forceful jab, or even a stray slap from your toddler or an excited head-butt from your dog, they may rupture.
This can happen immediately or some time afterward, depending on the extent of the damage and whether or not it is aggravated.
2. You Are Pregnant
6% of women will get a nosebleed during any given year, but this jumps to nearly 25% if they are pregnant.
The blood vessels dilate, and the additional pressure can cause them to stretch and rupture. There is also a type of pregnancy tumor that often forms in the gums but can also appear in the nose. These occur in roughly 1 in 20 cases and may cause chronic nosebleeds.
3. You Use Recreational Drugs
Many of the Hollywood stereotypes about nosebleeds are false. You won’t get them just because you think really hard and you probably won’t get them from overusing your psychic powers (levitate away!).
You can get them from using recreational drugs, but it’s not always a sign of serious damage or overdose.
Cocaine is a great example. This illegal stimulant raises your blood pressure and places great strain on your heart. If you have a nosebleed while your heart is beating quickly and your mind is whirring, it can be a pretty scary experience and may cause you to jump to scary conclusions, but most cocaine nosebleeds are caused by direct damage to the nose.
Cocaine damages skin and blood vessels inside the nose and can cause instant nosebleeds. If the drug continues to be snorted, the cells may die, scabs may form, and these can produce chronic nosebleeds, as well as cartilage damage, sinus problems, and a host of other issues.
All snorted drugs, whether they’re stimulants or not, can have the same effect.
4. You Take Blood Thinners
Blood thinners don’t cause nosebleeds directly, but they can prolong them and make them much heavier and more aggressive. Blood thinners prevent the blood from clotting, which means it flows more easily and may be hard to stop.
Common blood thinners include warfarin and aspirin. If you use these medications and suffer from regular nosebleeds, consult with your doctor and make sure you have some Nampons to hand at all times.
5. You Overuse Nasal Sprays
One of the reasons sinus infections and colds are so closely associated with nosebleeds is because people tend to overuse nasal sprays.
Saline sprays are actually recommended to help with a dry nose, thus reducing nosebleeds, but sprays designed to clear mucus may have the opposite effect.
6. You Have a Sinus Infection
If your nosebleeds are accompanied by pain in your ears, nose, or the back of your eyes, as well as tenderness, fatigue, and pus/phlegm, you may have a sinus infection. Fortunately, this is easily diagnosed and cured following a visit to your doctor.
7. You Inhale Chemical Irritants
Everything from ammonia to secondhand smoke can irritate your nasal passages enough to trigger a nosebleed. Some people are more susceptible than others, but if you inhale enough of the right (or wrong, as the case be may) chemical, then it can happen to anyone.
8. You Blow Your Nose Too Much or Too Hard
Every time you blow your nose, you’re placing a lot of stress on the blood vessels, and that could be enough to cause a rupture. During a cold, flu, or sinus infection, the risk increases as you do your best to rid your sinuses of extra mucus.
9. You Pick Your Nose Too Much
It’s probably not something you’ll admit to, but the truth is, nose-picking is one of the biggest causes of nosebleeds. It just takes an aggressive poke from a poorly manicured nail to cause problems.
10. The Air is Dry
Dry air dries your skin, and the same is true for your nose. When the thin membranes become dry and cracked, they are prone to rupturing and bleeding. This tends to be more common during the winter months, when we spend more time indoors with the heating on.