Before we can answer why we get nosebleeds, let’s talk about what a nosebleed is in the first place. I mean a nosebleed sounds pretty self-explanatory but I’m talking about what causes that embarrassing red gush in the first place.
There are two types of nosebleeds — anterior nosebleeds, which occur in the front part of the nose, and posterior nosebleeds, which happen in the back of the nose. Over 90 percent of all nosebleeds fall in the anterior nosebleed category, which means that the blood is coming from a blood vessel that burst near the front of your nose, usually as a result of some sort of trauma.
This is the kind of nosebleed you get when you’ve been punched in the nose (and who hasn’t?). It’s also the kind of nosebleed you get when you’ve got a cold and you’ve been irritating your nose by blowing it too often. They tend to occur more often in the winter and in places that are dry, causing the inside of your nose to dry out thereby making the blood vessels inside more prone to burst.
If the bleeding doesn’t stop on its own, a trip to the ER may be in order, where the doctor will either cauterize the wound, or put nasal packing in place which puts pressure on the bleed from inside the nose.
If you get frequent nosebleeds in a short amount of time, it could be a sign that something more serious is going on. If you’re bruising elsewhere on your body, or blood is coming out of other bodily orifices as well (I’ve always wanted to use the word orifices) and you see blood in your urine or stool, it could be a sign that your blood is having trouble clotting. Talk to your doctor if you suspect this to be the case.
By the way, anterior nosebleeds can also be a result of excessive nose picking. Yet another reason to stop digging for gold.
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