Runny nose, sneezing, night-time wheezing, nasal irritation—welcome to spring, hay fever sufferers!
As if all the sniffing, sneezing, and dribbling weren’t enough, many hay fever sufferers also have to deal with frequent nosebleeds!
If you're one of these unfortunate allergy sufferers, here's what you need to know.
Does Hay Fever Cause Nosebleeds?
Most nosebleeds result from minor damage to the blood vessels that line the nasal septum. The delicate nasal membranes crack, the vessels rupture, and the nose bleeds.
Dry air, vigorous nose blowing, and nose picking are some of the most common causes of nosebleeds.
Nosebleeds are more common in hay fever sufferers because the constant sneezing, sniffing, rubbing, and nose blowing irritates the nasal membranes and leaves them more prone to ruptures.
Allergy medications like antihistamines and decongestants further exacerbate the problem.
How to Stop a Nosebleed from Hay Fever
Stopping hay fever-related nosebleeds is just the same as stopping any other type of nosebleed.
First, try to stay calm. It can be a scary experience, as the blood will mix with your mucous, and if there is a lot of it, it'll seem like you're bleeding heavily. But it's important to stay calm as you could make it worse.
- Sit down and lean forward slightly.
- Pinch below the hard part of your nose, and hold for at least 10 minutes.
- Breathe through your mouth and refrain from removing your fingers to check whether or not the bleeding has stopped.
- Remove your fingers after 10 minutes. If this still doesn't work, simply repeat the process. If there is a lot of blood and it doesn’t stop, seek emergency medical care.
Once the bleeding stops, refrain from performing any strenuous exercise, taking a hot shower/bath, and blowing your nose. You should also avoid taking allergy medication for a few days.
How to Prevent Nosebleeds from Hay Fever
As hay fever nosebleeds are caused by dry and damaged nasal membranes, preventing them is just a case of protecting your nose and keeping it moist.
There are a few ways you can do this:
Avoid Repeated Nose Blowing and Picking
It can be tempting to blow your nose and even pick your nose when it's congested, but doing so could damage the many small blood vessels inside of your nose.
It doesn't take much to damage them—a sharp fingernail, a hard snort, blowing too hard.
Be Careful When Wiping Your Nose
If you're constantly wiping your runny nose, you will irritate the skin on the outside and inside of your nose. It's why you may have a red and irritated nose every time you have a cold or an allergy attack.
But the more you rub, the more you irritate, and sooner or later you could damage those little blood vessels.
If you're going to wipe, use moistened tissues and place a little petroleum jelly on your nose afterward.
Use a Humidifier
Do you live in a very dry environment? Do you find that the skin on your hands and face get uncomfortably dry during the winter months? If so, just imagine what the inside of your nose looks like!
In such conditions, a humidifier can work wonders. It will introduce moisture to your home and keep your skin and nasal lining hydrated.
Use Saline Spray
Nasal sprays are designed to lubricate and protect. Look for a non-medicated spray that won't dry out your nose and will simply introduce a little lubrication as needed.
Read the instructions on the label and don't exceed the recommended usage.
Cigarette smoke irritates the nasal lining and could increase the risk of congestion, asthma, and a host of other issues. It's one of the worst things you can do for your health, so if you want to keep those nosebleeds at bay, put those cigarettes down.
Don't Overuse Allergy Medications
Decongestants and antihistamines can ease your allergy symptoms, but they will also irritate your sinuses and chronic use could increase the risk of nosebleeds and other nose and throat issues.
Drinking a little less water than your body needs is not enough to trigger a nosebleed. But if you are chronically dehydrated and this is combined with other factors, it could certainly play a role.
FAQs About Hay Fever and Frequent Nosebleeds
If you still have issues with nosebleeds and seasonal allergies, check out the following FAQs for some more information.
Is it Normal for your Nose to Bleed with Hay Fever?
It's not something that every hay fever sufferer experiences, but it's still relatively common.
Some people are more prone to nosebleeds than others. If you're in this group, there's a good chance that the increased irritation caused by allergies will trigger a few nosebleeds.
Do Antihistamines Help Nosebleeds?
Quite the opposite. As noted above, antihistamines actually aggravate the nasal lining and can increase the risk of nosebleeds.
Can High Pollen Cause Nosebleeds?
Pollen won't directly cause nosebleeds, but your reaction to the pollen will. It's not just pollen, either. The same is true for dust, pet dander, and other allergens.
If your body reacts to these allergens with a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and general nasal irritation, it could lead to nosebleeds.
How Do I Know If I Have Allergies?
If you have cold symptoms when the pollen count is high or you are exposed to allergens like pet fur and dust, there's a good chance you have an allergy.
But there could be other causes, and it's always best to get tested before you make a self-diagnosis.
Allergy testing is quick, easy, and usually very cheap. It will tell you what you need to know, after which you can get advice on dealing with your symptoms from a healthcare professional.
How Can Nose Bleeding Be Stopped?
Sit down, lean your head forward, apply pressure to keep the nostrils closed, and wait for at least 10 minutes.
That's all it takes to stop nosebleeds. For more serious nosebleeds, pick up some Nampons, which will stop the blood flow while also hastening the formation of blood clots.
How Long Do Hay Fever Nosebleeds Last?
Most nosebleeds last for less than 10 minutes, providing you follow the necessary steps to stop them.
When Are Hay Fever Nosebleeds a Problem?
As most hay fever nosebleeds are the result of dry, cracked, and otherwise damaged nasal passages, they are usually brief and innocuous. They will typically resolve on their own and unless they occur frequently, you don't need medical attention.
But if the bleeds continue for more than 20 minutes or the bleeding is very heavy, you should seek medical attention.
What are the Types of Allergy Nosebleeds?
There are two types of nosebleeds: anterior nosebleeds and posterior nosebleeds.
The former are the most common in allergy sufferers and occur in the front of the nose. They are brief and not serious. The latter occur at the back of the nasal passages and can be much heavier and more problematic.
Summary: How Do Allergy Sufferers Deal with Nosebleeds
Spring is a wonderful time of year.
The nights get longer, the days get hotter, and the world looks a little more colorful, but it's hard to enjoy all of that when you feel like you're constantly snorting pepper!
If you suffer from hay fever or other allergies, and you're struggling to deal with the constant nasal irritation and frequent nosebleeds, remember:
- Avoid blowing your nose too frequently or forcefully
- Stop picking your nose
- Be wary of overly dry environments
- Use a saline spray to keep the inside of your nose moist
- Don't smoke
- Limit your consumption of allergy medications
If nothing reduces the frequency of nosebleeds, speak with your healthcare provider.