Oh this bloody nose of mine!!!

So I was watching Shakingspear in Love with a friend when I got a runny nose. It is the middle of winter and I have a cold, so I was not very surprised - but I was surprised when I realized my nose was really bleeding.

I am 18 and my nose has never ever bled before (well - once - a little - when I had a fight with two boys who were twice my age… dirty bastards hit a little girl… but then I called them assholes… so they had a point…)

So when I was trying to stop the bleeding I wondered about two things:

#1 why do noses bleed in the first place?
#2 why does something cold in your neck help?

I asked my dad when I got home (my heaad held high - my nose still bleeding) and he guessed that a small blood vessel (right word?) might have torn… and after a while he came up with the idea that the cold might help to make the blood vessels smaller - hence they d close more easily…

Is that right? If not… what is the real reason?

I remain
with bloody taste in my mouth


There are lots of tiny capilaries in your nose that are close to the surface. In the winter, when your snot is constantly freezing and thawing, they get damaged (think of potholes) eventually leading to a rupture. I’ve never tried the cold-stuff on neck trick, I usually just lean forward with a tissue and apply pressure and wait till it clots.

I’m the nosebleed king. I get them anytime, anywhere, for any reason. I hate them. They’re the worst in the winter, because the air is dry and cold. I thought about going to school in Arizona, but the desert would’ve killed me.

Anyway, my own remedy for quickly ending a nosebleed is to blow my nose hard and often. It’s going to be messy, but it really does clear out the nasal system. Then, the blood trickles to a stop and things are generally under control.

If you have any more questions, Dodgy, e-mail me. Like I said, I’m the expert.

When we are called for nose bleed we simply tell the person to put their head forward, pinch their nose, and wait. The only thing to be worried is that a posterior nose bleed can be very difficult to stop, and even a life threat. If it dosent stop in about 10 minutes or so, its time to consider a ride to an ER.

At a League Coaching clinic they suggested keep a few tampons in the first aid kit for nose bleeds…

personally, I would not pack the nose with anything. a tampon may be absorbent, but it is still going to encourage blood to go back into the oralpharnyx and then into the stomach (or on extremely rare occasions into the lungs. I cant think of it ever happening but I guess its “possible”). The stomach isn’t too fond of blood, and ingestion can lead to quite spectacular vomiting shows. I’d just apply pressure from the outside, put their head forward, and wait.

Montfort said it, but I musr echo it. Cold dry air dehumidifies your nose. making cracking of your nasal vessels that much more likely.

Don’t put stuff up your nose, as removal may break the clot. Pinch your nose shut, or blled into a trash can (dustbin).

Well, if you ever break your nose, or seriously hurt it, NEVER hold your head back. The paramedics told me this, after my friend broke his in a car accident (that I was in… I hurt my hip, but that’s another story). You can easily choke on the massive amounts of blood. But for a small one, I think it’s ok.

[Ralph Wiggum]The doctor said I wouldn’t have so many nosebleeds if I just kept my finger out of there[/Ralph Wiggum]

Sorry couldn’t resist.

A little trick that I have picked up whilst in the job…

For a nosebleed that won’t stop, despite firm pinching of the nose, try placing an cold compress on the forehead and the back of the neck. A pack of frozen peas does the job nicely. This causes the underlying blood vessels to constrict, thus limiting their flow into the nasal area.

Incidentally, once the flow has slowed or stopped, DO NOT blow your nose (despite the suggestion above). All this will do is blow away any clotting that may be starting to form.

Interesting how many wrong things I ve picked up through the years…

I ve been told to lean back and wait till it clots.
So I swollowed a lot of blood and that was really ugly cause I hate that coppery taste it has… yuck.

It bled pretty long too…
when it finally stopped my cold came through and I blew my nose… well… I had already suspected it to start bleeding again… which it did for another 5 - 10 minutes…
A friend once got a bleeding nose while she was asleep -
in the middle of the night she woke up and couldnt breathe. She was little back then and panicked.
After a while of gasping for air they realized the blood had clotted somewhere it shouldnt have and somehow managed to get the blood out before she got unconcious.
I am strangely proud to have had a bleeding nose after such a long time…
As strange as it gets


You know, frozen peas seem useful for bloody noses, vasectomy recovery, leg cramps, head compresses, and about a zillion other things.

With all this applying as a cold pack, does anybody ever eat frozen peas?

I prefer to defrost them first…


I’ve had a low-grade nosebleed for three years now. Every time I blow my nose, there’s blood. I chock it up to the dry air out here in Vegas.

Dry air can be a big factor in nosebleeds. You now how your skin can crack when it’s really dry? Now think mucous membranes.

The frozen peas sounds like the best answer- contract those little blood vessels so the blood can’t escape.

My brother has had a couple of life-threatening nosebleeds for no apparent reason (although they might have been related to some really intense radiation treatments he had several years before) and when he went to the emergency room they treated it by sticking a specially-made balloon up there and inflating it. One time when that happened he almost bled to death while the E.R. people searched frantically for the balloon, which none of them had ever used because the situation doesn’t come up much.

Manny, when I was ~6, my tonsils were removed. I was fed tons of ice cream. (Ice cream was promised even before the surgery, as a bribe to induce me). I hear that ice cream is still in use (sorry, no quotes).
As to the OP: an ice cube on the bridge of the nose may help. I do not know how much (if any) is actual cold-induced vasoconstriction, and how much reflectory one, though.

my WAG would be that the balloon is used to put direct pressure on the bleed inside of the nose. This would be different than packing the nose with a tampon or something similar

I used to have nosebleeds when I was a teenager. My doctor recommended that I take two 500 mg. tablets of Vitamin C each day. I’ve been taking them ever since, and I’ve been nosebleed-free ever since!

see the post relating to vit C that is floating around – I believe it eludes that vit C takes part in the clotting process

Sure. Kids love em, daughter smooshes them up with her fork. However, I got to show the In-Laws a whole new use for them last weekend. The thermostat for their entire house is in the living room- where the fireplace is. They’re in a three floor home in Pittsburgh. Now, if we do have a fire, the family members sleeping on the 2nd and 3rd floors are screwed later on, because the thermostsat of course will not kick on- it reads the ambient temp in the living room.

Over my MIL’s insistence that I’d break something, I placed a bag of frozen peas on top of the thermostat, and about 20 minutes later it’s LCD thermostat read at 61* instead of 73*. We got to enjoy our fire, crackling and such, and everyone was warm when they slept. Made me feel right good to get one up on the MIL, AND find another use for frozen peas.:smiley: :smiley:

Last time I tried this, it was to shut down a HUGE automated A.C. unit in an office building, the sound of the A.C. was wrecking our shoot.

I suppose that there's money to be made, selling " Pellet Bags" of small plastic sacs, in a larger plastic bag. I use peas when my kid gets a bruise or bump,it beats the hell out of ice.