Shortness of Breath and a Bloody Nose

Shortness of breath and nosebleeds can be caused by a range of conditions and ailments. Some of these are serious, most are not, but if you're struggling with both symptoms, it's important to know what they are!

Anxiety Disorders

Some of the most common causes for shortness of breath and nosebleeds are anxiety, stress, and panic-related.

They are self-perpetuating conditions, and that's why they are so common.

When you feel a little stressed or panicked, you may suffer from shortness of breath. Once that happens, you start to worry that you're having a heart attack or will pass out, at which point, the symptoms intensify and the problem persists.

Many people adopt self-destructive habits when they are stressed and anxious, including nose picking and even nose blowing. If they're having trouble breathing, they may even do these things without realizing, causing ruptures and bleeding, and making them panic even more.

Sinus Infections

A sinus infection could be at fault for your nosebleeds and slight shortness of breath. The constant irritation from sneezing, blowing, picking, and even nasal dryness could rupture the blood vessels in the nose while all of the mucus means that less air is getting through.

Cold, flu, and even COVID can cause similar issues, as can an allergic reaction.

Medication Side Effects and Interactions

Some medications could trigger side effects and allergic reactions that leave you with nasal issues, stomach problems, skin rashes, and even difficulty breathing. Some of these issues are minor and to be expected, others require medical intervention.

Some drugs are also known to trigger heavier bleeding once a nosebleed has been triggered, and this could leave you with shortness of breath. Blood thinners and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are known to cause such issues.

Drug Abuse and Withdrawals

Strong opioid-based painkillers like morphine and oxycodone depress your respiratory system and may leave you with shortness of breath. They can also dry you out, leaving you with a dry mouth. If you combine this with a little nose picking or a dry environment, it could trigger nosebleeds and shortness of breath at the same time.

These symptoms may also appear during withdrawals, which emulate a really bad case of the flu. Generally speaking, your body goes through hell when you are in withdrawal from narcotics, triggering everything from a runny nose and diarrhea to dizziness, skin crawling, and insomnia.

Nutrient Deficiency

Your body needs a balance of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. It can survive even if you don't meet your optimum recommended daily allowances every day, but if you're seriously deficient, you may experience a number of symptoms.

Vitamin B12 deficiency, for instance, is known to create many health problems, including damaged blood vessels.

High Blood Pressure

During a hypertensive crisis, when blood pressure is dangerously high, the blood vessels can rupture and there may also be breathing difficulties. It's a very serious health condition and requires immediate attention, as it could increase the risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Unrelated Issues

There are many ailments that can cause shortness of breath, including atrial flutter and heart rhythm disorder. They don't necessarily cause nosebleeds, but it's possible for your nose to bleed due to an unrelated issue.

Maybe you were picking your nose because you were worried. Maybe you sneezed too hard or blew your nose too much. It's not uncommon for these symptoms to occur simultaneously due to unrelated conditions.

Other Health Conditions Linked to Shortness of Breath and Nosebleeds

There are more conditions linked to breathing problems than nosebleeds, as the latter often needs a trigger, something that can actually break the blood vessels. The two are also rarely seen together, and even though we've listed a few conditions above, it's still not common to experience both of these symptoms.

Some other health problems that can trigger one or both of these symptoms include nasal polyps, anemia, thyroid problems, sickle cell disease, congestive heart failure, and pre-leukemia.

When To Contact a Healthcare Provider

If you are suffering from heavy nosebleeds or prolonged shortness of breath, you should seek medical assistance. If these symptoms are accompanied by chest pains, dizziness, and vomiting, you may need emergency care.

It can be scary to experience symptoms like nosebleeds and shortness of breath, but the good news is that most nosebleeds are harmless and even shortness of breath can be innocuous. Still, it's important to consult with your doctor and make sure they know about any new symptoms.