Most Nosebleeds are simply annoying. But some are quite frightening, and a few are even life threatening.

Types of Nosebleeds

Physicians classify nosebleeds into 2 different types.

Anterior Nosebleeds

Anterior nosebleeds generally begin in the lower part of the septum, the semi-rigid wall that separates the two nostrils of the nose. The septum contains blood vessels that can be broken by a blow to the nose or the edge of a sharp fingernail. This type of nosebleed comes from the front of the nose and begins with a flow of blood out of one nostril when the patient is sitting or standing.

Anterior nosebleeds are common in dry climates or during the winter months when heated, dry indoor air dehydrates the nasal membranes. Dryness may result in crusting, cracking and bleeding.

This can be prevented if you place a bit of lubricating cream or ointment about the size of a pea on the end of your fingertip and then rub it inside the nose, especially on the middle portion of the nose.

To Stop an Anterior Nosebleed:

  • First pinch all the soft parts of the nose together between your thumb and the side of your index finger toward the face, compressing the pinched parts of the nose against the bones of the face.
  • Hold that position for a full five minutes by the clock.
  • Keep head higher than the level of the heart.
  • Sit up or lie back a little with the head elevated.
  • Apply ice (crushed in a plastic bag or washcloth ) to nose and cheeks.
  • Seek medical help if the bleeding cannot be stopped or keeps recurring, bleeding is rapid or blood loss exceeds a coffee cupful, you feel weak or faint from blood loss or blood goes down the back of the throat rather than out the front through the nose.

Posterior Nosebleeds

Posterior nose bleeds can be more serious and difficult to treat.

Posterior nosebleeds begin high and deep within the nose and flow down the back of the mouth and throat even if the patient is sitting or standing. Posterior nosebleeds are more likely to occur in older people, persons with high blood pressure, and in cases of injury to the nose or face.