Do you have allergies and experience occasional nosebleeds, too? Yes, there is a link between allergies and nosebleeds and there are ways to prevent both of them.
Most cases of nosebleeds are self-limited, and not a reason to get worried. But, in rare cases, there could be an underlying problem that has to be treated.
Why Do You Have Nosebleeds with Allergies?
Your nose contains many small blood vessels. Your nasal passages are lined with a membrane. When the nasal membrane and tiny blood vessels of the nose are damaged, a person is more likely to have a nosebleed.
Allergies pose a risk for nosebleeds. This is because they cause irritation to the nasal passages and dry out the membrane.
Causes of Nosebleeds
Allergies actually aren’t the main cause of nosebleeds. The top two causes are dry air which dries the membrane and nose picking.
A nosebleed can be caused by many things including:
- Sinus inflammation or infection (sinusitis)
- Chemical irritants like ammonia
- Nonallergic rhinitis
- Chronic congestion
- Object lodged in the nasal passage
- Nasal polyps
Overusing nasal spray drugs can also cause nosebleeds.
What do all these conditions have in common? They irritate the nasal membrane and the small vessels of the nose in a way or another.
Blood thinner medications like aspirin, warfarin, and heparin can also increase the risk of nosebleeds. Conditions such as hemophilia and immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) can increase nosebleeds.
How to Prevent Minor Nosebleeds
If your nosebleeds are related to allergies, the best thing to do is to manage the underlying problem. If certain chemicals irritate your nasal passages, try to avoid them.
Nasal dryness is prevented with saline solutions and using humidifiers at home. This will help reduce the risk of nosebleeds and improve allergy symptoms, too.
How to Manage Minor Nosebleeds at Home
If you experience an occasional, mild nosebleed you can manage this condition at home.
The best way to stop the bleeding is to pinch the softest part of your nose with your index finger and thumb. Breathe through your mouth and hold your nose for about 10-15 minutes. It is important to stay upright and sit forward.
Once the bleeding stops, make sure you do not pick or blow your nose and avoid bending down for several hours.
When to See Your Doctor
If you have allergies, you should see your doctor for the best treatment. If you experience frequent nosebleeds, tell your doctor at your next appointment. Your doctor may need to order a few tests to determine the cause of your nosebleeds.
In some instances, you will want to contact a medical professional during a nosebleed. Seek medical treatment if you experience:
- Bleeding for more than 20 minutes even with compression
- Loss of a large amount of blood
- A feeling of lightheadedness or sickness
- Interference with breathing
- The nosebleed is a result of head trauma
Children under the age of two should also receive medical treatment right away.
Reduce Nosebleeds with Saline Solutions
Studies found that using saline solutions helps restore moisture to the dry nasal passages and sinuses. This helps reduce inflammation and ease allergies and sinus inflammations. It can also prevent nosebleeds triggered by dry air.
Saline solutions also keep the cilia, small hair-like structures that trap microbes and help humidify the air that goes in the lungs.
You can buy an already prepared saline solution or make it at home. The homemade saline solution can be easily prepared. Begin by mixing three teaspoons of non-iodized salt (like kosher salt with no additives) and one teaspoon of baking soda. Keep this mixture in a jar. When ready to use, add a teaspoon of the mixture to 8 oz of distilled water.
Pour the solution into a Neti pot, preferably made from ceramic. These will moisten the membrane in the nose and help keep your respiratory tract healthy. People have used Neti pots for thousands of years in folk medicine and are widely available now in pharmacies and natural health stores.
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Make sure both the Neti pot is clean and the water is also distilled, filtered, or boiled and cooled.
To use a Neti pot correctly, follow these steps:
- Clean your neti pot.
- Make a solution of saline and sanitized water
- Lean over a sink and tilt your head at about a 45-degree angle
- Insert the spout in the right upper nostril and breathe through your mouth and tip the Neti pot up slightly
- Repeat the process on the left side
- Remove excess water
- Blow your nose gently into a tissue
- Clean your Neti pot
You can use a Neti pot daily if needed.
Allergies and Nosebleeds
There is definitely a connection between allergies and nosebleeds. Because allergies can dry out the membrane in the nasal passage, it can cause nosebleeds. There usually is not reason to worry, though.
With a simple saline solution, you can rehydrate your nasal passages and reduce the risk of having a nosebleed.