Sneezing and Bloody Noses: Causes and Treatments
Sneezing is one of the weirdest things that we do as humans. It's an explosive ejaculation of germs that races from the mouth and nose with the force of a Rocketship.
Some people sneeze quietly, others sound like someone just kicked them in the shins; some people sneeze infrequently, others reel off sneezes like machinegun fire. But regardless of how much you sneeze and what sound you make then you do it, there is one constant that remains true for everyone:
Sneezing can trigger nosebleeds.
Why Do We Sneeze?
If you type "Does sneezing..." into Google, the main query is "does sneezing stop your heart?" Some of the other popular queries include "does sneezing mean someone is talking about you?"
It's fair to say that the public isn't that well informed when it comes to this act, and who can blame them? Sneezing is a random and explosive action. For a split second, it feels like your head is about to explode, and if you're unfortunate enough to sneeze dozens of times in a row, it can feel like you've just pulled 9 Gs in a fighter jet.
Contrary to what some paranoid Googlers seem to think, sneezing is not bad for you and while it does affect the heart (increasing intrathoracic pressure, reducing blood flow, and forcing the heart to adjust its regular beat) it doesn't stop it completely.
Sneezing is your body's way of removing virus and germ particles. Whenever one of these foreign objects enters the nose, a sneeze is triggered and the objects are expelled.
Sneezing can expel over 100,000 germs during a single sneeze and the force can reach up to 100 miles an hour.
Of course, like many biological processes, it's not perfect. Not only does it send a wave of infectious particles into the air, but if it occurs frequently, it can damage the delicate blood vessels in the nose.
Does Sneezing Cause Nosebleeds?
The blood vessels in your nose are fragile and don't have the protection afforded to blood vessels elsewhere in your body. As a result, nosebleeds are very common and nose picking is by far the most common cause.
If you're rooting around in your nose like it's the bottom of an ice cream cone and you're trying to find the bubblegum, there's a good chance you'll do some damage. Unless your nails are perfectly trimmed, the inside of your nose is moist, and you're very careful, you could trigger a nosebleed.
One of the main reasons children suffer from more nosebleeds than adults is because they constantly have their fingers stuffed up their noses.
If you have a runny nose, hay fever, and other such issues, you might be exploring more than usual. There will be a lot of nose blowing, nose picking, and maybe even the occasional use of nasal sprays. All of this puts your blood vessels under a great deal of stress, and if you follow it up with a succession of sneezes, it could be enough to break those blood vessels and trigger a nosebleed.
How to Stop a Nosebleed After a Sneeze
If you suffer from a nosebleed following a sneeze, simply sit down, lean forward, and use your thumb and index finger to gently pinch your nostrils. It might help if you place an ice pack on the top of your nose, but you will need to wrap it in a towel first to make sure you don’t damage your skin.
Hold this position for at least 5 minutes and don't remove your fingers just to check if the bleeding has stopped. Once you have the bleeding under control, refrain from taking a hot shower/bath and don't blow or pick your nose, lest you remove the clot and trigger more bleeding.