Winter Nosebleeds

If you have constant nosebleeds or find them hard to stop once they start, see a doctor to rule out a different cause such as high blood pressure.

In parts of the country where wintertime means alternately braving frigid winds and then huddling inside for warmth, nosebleeds are a common seasonal annoyance.

Dry winter air is rough on the mucous membranes, so moisturize them by running a cool-mist humidifier in your home. Putting a dab of petroleum jelly on a cotton swab and coating the inside of the nostrils can act as a barrier, helping to prevent further bleeds. If you’re prone to seasonal nosebleeds, carry a nasal saline spray to use to moisturize the nostrils.

To stop a nosebleed, first blow your nose gently, then lightly pinch the nostrils together for 10 to 15 minutes. Sit or stand bent slightly forward, so you don’t swallow blood, and breathe through the mouth. Applying a cold compress or an ice pack across the bridge of the nose may help slow the bleeding. Do not lie down or tip the head back and do not stuff the nostrils with gauze. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 20 minutes, seek emergency care.

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