Do you find that your nose bleeds every time you visit Arizona? Is it some kind of olfactory reaction to the Copper State? Maybe it's an aversion to the smell of fry bread and Chimichangas. Maybe your nose is a secret Bears fan and can't maintain its composure in Cardinal’s territory. Maybe it's just a coincidence?
In actual fact, it's none of those things, and the answer is much simpler and just as interesting.
Why Does My Nose Bleed in Arizona?
If you ask any Arizonan what their state is famous for, they might point to the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, or even its abundance of copper. It is the Copper State, after all.
Ask a tourist and they'll tell you it's the weather, probably while they're sweating, complaining, and looking for the nearest air conditioning.
Arizona is one of the nation's hottest and driest states, and this is one of the main reasons why your nose bleeds so frequently.
There is a very delicate mucous membrane inside your nasal cavity and when this dries, it can crack and expose the delicate blood vessels underneath. If you're already predisposed to nosebleeds, the dry climate could be the final straw that breaks the camel's back. But even people who don't have frequent nosebleeds may struggle to avoid epistaxis in the heart of the Arizona desert.
Why Do I Get Nosebleeds In The Desert?
Most nosebleeds occur as a result of damage to the nasal septum, the "wall" that separates your nostrils. Nose picking is one of the most common triggers, as all it takes is an errant fingernail or overly vigorously picking. That should give you an idea of just how delicate your nasal septum is.
If you're constantly exposed to dry air, the lining will become dry and cracked. At that point, a rupture can occur sporadically. It's also more susceptible to damage and could rupture as a result of nose bleeding, nose picking, or even a light knock.
How Do I Stop My Nose From Bleeding In Dry Weather?
We all have noses. We all have nasal septums. And we're all exposed to nosebleeds. But they occur more frequently in some than others, and if you're one of the unfortunate ones, then dry weather will almost certainly be a trigger.
Here are some of the ways you can prepare for those trips to the Copper State:
- Keep Your Nose Moist: Use petroleum jelly and saline nasal sprays to keep that delicate lining moist. Use these at least twice a day, or as directed by your doctor.
- Carry Nampons: It always helps to have some Nampons on hand if you suffer from recurring nosebleeds. They will stem the blood flow and help you to deal with your nosebleed quickly and cleanly.
- Avoid Blowing Your Nose: In itself, nose blowing shouldn't trigger a nosebleed. But if you’re being exposed to a lot of dry air and your nasal lining is already damaged, that forceful blow could be enough to cause a rupture.
- Avoid Picking Your Nose: If you pick your nose frequently, you're more likely to trigger nosebleeds. It can be difficult to resist temptation when your nose is a little dry and sore, but if you keep inspecting your nose with your finger, you could trigger a nosebleed.
- Avoid Heavy Lifting: Overexertion could also cause a nosebleed, so if they keep occurring, refrain from heavy lifting.
Are Nosebleeds in the Desert Anything to Worry About?
Most nosebleeds are perfectly harmless. In fact, the causes of nosebleeds are often very innocuous, and yet it's something that many associate with severe diseases and disorders. Films and TV shows have convinced us that nosebleeds are either a sign of serious illness, terrible omens, or some kind of psychic ability.
In reality, most are caused by dry weather and nose picking. Those small blood vessels might not rupture when you use your Jedi mind powers, but they will definitely rupture if you have long and sharp nails and make regular excavations with your index finger.
Recurring nosebleeds can be a sign of something more serious, though.
If your nosebleeds are frequent, heavy, and there is no immediately obvious cause, consult with a healthcare professional. They may just blame it on blood-thinning medications or damaged blood vessels in the nose, but they will also rule out bleeding disorders and other serious illnesses, so it’s important to get checked over.
Is Arizona the Driest State in the US?
Arizona is actually the second driest state in the country, as Nevada takes the top spot. The Sagebrush State gets around 10 inches of rainfall a year on average, which is marginally less than Arizona. Both states are very hot and dry, though, and so they can both cause problems for people who experience frequent nosebleeds.
It's not just the desert states that cause this problem, though. If you spend a lot of time indoors with the heat turned up, you may suffer from similar issues. You're essentially creating the same hot and dry environment that these states produce naturally, and if that's your environment from morning until night, it's sure to cause problems.
In such cases, consider buying a humidifier. It's more practical than wiping moistening agents inside your nose every day.
Summary: Why Do I Get Frequent Nosebleeds in Arizona
Arizona is a beautiful state that has a lot to offer, but it's also very hot and dry, and that could spell disaster for anyone who suffers from frequent nosebleeds.
You can protect yourself against the low humidity using a little petroleum jelly and keeping some Nampons on hand to stop the bleeding when it occurs. Just remember to keep the air moist, avoid any unnecessary triggers, and seek medical attention if the bleeding is too heavy or too frequent.