Austin winters are relatively mild compared to some areas of the country. That being said, we are occasionally hit with a big northern cold front that brings a chill to the air and the need to turn on the heat. When the moisture in the air decreases, your nose, which acts as a humidifier, may dry out. When these tissues dry, fragile capillary walls may break and a nosebleed occurs.
A nosebleed may simply be an annoying interruption to your day; however, it can become a larger intrusion that could potentially be life-threatening if it is severe or won’t stop. In some rare cases, it can be a sign of a bigger problem (such as high blood pressure, a clotting disorder, or nasal tumor, to name a few).
For a simple nosebleed, squeeze the front of the nose for five minutes (without checking to see if it stops). Usually, holding pressure will stop most nosebleeds. Spraying a nasal decongestant (such as afrin) will help the vessels in the nose constrict. Do not lean your head back (the blood will just go down the back of the throat) or stick anything up it, as tissues and cotton may get stuck. If the bleeding is severe, won’t stop, or you feel light headed, you should go the Emergency Room.
To prevent the nasal tissues from drying out, you may use some Vaseline in the front of the nose to keep it moist, spray nasal saline into the nose, or use a humidifier. If your nosebleeds are severe or recurrent, make an appointment with one of our providers.
Great Hills ENT serves the greater Austin area including Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.