SEP 06, 2017 03:58 PM PDT

Why are Noses so Prone to Bleeding?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Most of us have already experienced at least one nosebleed. In most cases, nosebleeds are caused by trauma. The location of the nose in the middle of the face and its inherent nature to stick out, makes the nose a prime target for physical injury. Furthermore, because the nose has a high density of blood vessels, bleeds from this facial feature can be intense.

Aside from trauma, nosebleeds can also be caused by nasal or sinus infections, and prolonged exposure to dry air. In children, the mucosal membrane in the nose can be broken by nose-picking or by a foreign object (Legos, for example). In other cases, nosebleeds can be caused by medication (for example, blood thinners), or the event can indicate an underlying disorder.

Fortunately, most nosebleeds resolve with some at-home treatments. This involves pinching the nose to staunch the bleed while breathing through the mouth. Importantly, lean forward while sitting upright so that blood doesn't drain into the sinus and throat. Pressure and ice will typically stop the bleed in 5 to 20 minutes. However, if the bleeding goes on for longer, you may need a visit to the ER.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 20, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 20, 2019
Artificial "Bug Eyes" Made of Nanoparticles and Liquid Marbles
The term compound eye refers to the unique visual organs that can be found in many insects (hence the nickname "bug eyes"), as well as certain sp...
NOV 20, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 20, 2019
How a Venus Flytrap Works
Most people think of plants as being at the bottom of the food chain, but the Venus Flytrap defies this oversimplified way of thinking by devouring meat. W...
NOV 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 20, 2019
NASA's Dawn Mission Taught Us Much About the Asteroid Vesta
In 2011, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft arrived at its destination, enabling planetary scientists with the American space agency to study a particularly capt...
NOV 20, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 20, 2019
Greenland's Summer Melt Helps Scientists Track Sea Level Rise
This summer, the Greenland Ice Sheet experienced a significant melting event not seen since 2002, mainly due to the heatwave that swept through most of Eur...
NOV 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 20, 2019
Here's Why NASA Wants to Crash a Spacecraft Into an Asteroid
Yes, you read that right; NASA would like to slam a purposefully built spacecraft into the surface of an asteroid. While this idea might seem like a substa...
NOV 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 20, 2019
ESA's Solar Orbiter is Nearly Ready to Launch
Move over Parker Solar Probe, there’s a new Sun-orbiting spacecraft in town. The European Space Agency has completed the assembly of the Solar Orbite...
Loading Comments...