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Nosebleed (Epistaxis)

Question:

How long did the symptoms of your nosebleed last? Was there anything in particular that helped with pain/symptom relief? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Celeste, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

I've had nosebleeds since birth. I didn't go to the ENT till I had a really bad one and went to the emergency room. They didn't have to pack it, instead they taught me a life changing trick. Use Afrin nasal spray! It stops the bleeding almost immediately! The ENT also told me to put zinc ointment in my nose at night and morning. This has reduced my nose bleeds tremendously. Now I probably get 1 or 2 a season instead of once a month.

Comment from: Rose, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 29

I had 40 minutes continuous flow. I used cotton pads up my nose and pressed to either side of the bridge. A large blood clot formed once the nosebleed had stopped.

Comment from: Hairmold, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 18

I'm 48 and had never had a nosebleed. With my first I panicked. For each subsequent bleed I tend to panic. It's scary, especially when it comes on when you least expect it. I've tried different methods to stop the bleeding, but the one that works for me is taking a cotton ball, saturating it with vinegar, and then sticking it up my nose. Sometimes it works immediately, but other times I'll have to take it out and reinsert another one. I swear by these vinegar balls, they work! Blow out the clot first and then insert the cotton ball soaked in vinegar.

Comment from: RPM, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 03

I've had severe nosebleeds starting at age 55 and get them about every 4 to 5 years. They are nasty and difficult to stop. This most recent one started while sleeping. It got me up and I started to pinch to stop the flow. The blood would clot and I would swallow it or spit up huge globs of it. It got to the point while pinching it and holding my head forward that the blood would start oozing out my eyes, very scary. Finally I called an ambulance to the emergency room (ER) where they packed it with a balloon type device, sent me home and told me to get to an ENT doctor to remove the balloon. I could not stand this device stuck in my nose and the bleeding was still trickling out so I went back to ER and they cauterized the spot which worked. My next step is to see and ENT soon.

Comment from: Samuel, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 19

I started having nose bleeding when I was 10 years old and continued till I was 21 years old. My father too does have nose bleeding. It takes between 10 and 15 minutes and there is no pain; my dad just asks me to hold back my head, and then it will stop. I started having nose bleeding again about two years ago. Any time I carry heavy load with my left hand it will bleed just for a moment and clog without pain.

Comment from: Angie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

My nose has been bleeding for 4 hours. I had surgery last Monday on my nose and it bled for 8 hours after. I am getting large clots in my mouth. I don't know how to stop it.

Comment from: Diks, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 13

There is a case of excessive nose bleeding for many days. When the nose is pinched and blocked, the blood drains out from the mouth. And it has been now 5 days. We had the medical attention where the doctor only prescribed amoxicillin and paracetamol.

Comment from: Berneak, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I am 49 years of age and have experienced my 3rd nose bleed in one week. The first two happened in my sleep. The third occurred while driving to work, and I didn't have anything to wipe it with, which caused me to panic. After bleeding for 10 minutes I finally made it to work still bleeding which resulted in calling the ambulance and being rushed to the emergency room. After arriving at the emergency room, because I panicked, my blood pressure went up and the doctors couldn't get it down. Four hours later after losing 2 liters of blood, doctors and nurses were finally able to get my nose to stop bleeding. They inserted an object in my nose like a tampon which I had to keep in my nose for 24 hours. I am so glad they got it under control but I must say that was the scariest medical experience I've ever had and I don't wish it on anybody. And now I am resting and trying to rebuild my blood count up by eating beets and vegetables, taking iron pills, and drinking lots of fluids also. That experience resulted in my doctors giving me blood pressure pills.

Comment from: Frank, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 22

Around 1999 I developed nose bleeds. I saw an ear, nose and throat specialist and he said I had a deviated septum from a nose break and needed an operation. Until then, I should keep my nose packed with Vaseline petroleum jelly. I did this but of course it would run, I'd blow my nose and it would occur again (while working a full time job). After 15 years I decided to try Vaseline to just dissolve the blood clots (with Q-tips) but not to pack my nose with it. The Vaseline had the added benefit of stopping another nose bleed (unlike blowing you nose to clear it). After a few months, I no longer had nose bleeds. It has now been a few years without nose bleeds (and no further Vaseline use). This is anecdotal and there may be now cause and effect between how I used Vaseline and my nose bleeds stopping. But it certainly seems to be the most likely cure of a 15 year nose bleed.

Comment from: Ally, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 02

Yikes, today I had a nosebleed that literally lasted 3.5 hours. While at my desk, I felt I had a runny nose and post nasal drip. I sucked it in and kept working. I remember finding it unusual that I had a runny nose. I am generally in great health, did not have a cold or any other symptoms. This just started suddenly. After sucking it up about 3 more times, I reached for a tissue when blood just started dripping on my desk. I blew my nose to clear my nostril and, oh boy! The tissue could not hold the huge blood clot the size of a golf ball. I immediately grabbed more issue and pinched my nose. I felt my nostril clogging up but did not want to blow again. I tilted my head slightly back and felt something roll down the back of my throat causing me to choke. I decided to let it take its course. Like a cat, I coughed up what was another golf ball sized blood clot. For someone who never had a nosebleed, this was surely no small introduction. No headache, no pain, not even lightheaded. Tissue after tissue, this was not normal. I stuffed tissues in my nose and kept my head straight while trying to stay level headed. Clots continued to form, and either clogged my nose to the point where I could not breathe, or slid down my throat. For the next 2 hours, this same pattern continued. Two boxes of tissues later, it stopped.

Comment from: Emily, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 25

I had 3 nosebleeds that lasted between 3 and 8 hours over the space of a week. It is now a week later and I am still draining dark blood usually (not bright red blood) from my nose and down my throat. Sometimes less, sometimes more. I can't find this referred to anywhere in the literature.

Comment from: Patty Ann, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 07

A year before getting my period I got nose bleeds that lasted anywhere from 45 minutes to hours (up to 3). The clots were large and usually about 12 inches long. The doctor told my parents that some girls get severe nose bleeds the year prior to the onset of their period. Lots of bath towels, pinch the upper nose, hold ice on it, sit up or lie on your side. I had large clots and heavy bleeding during periods that lasted 7 to 11 days most of my life. Then years later I began the nose bleeds again, 1 hour with large clots. I went to my doctor and asked if I might be starting menopause; she laughed. Well, 8 months later and having had my period for 57 days, they did a sonogram and found cysts along the walls of the vagina and the one that was in my uterus was the size of a 16 week fetus! Fast menopause, with surgery! In the interim with nose bleeds they would cauterize a couple of vessels. I did lose the septum in my nose. And, I find it is best to blow my nose during a nosebleeds when I feel the clots. Soon after the bleeding stops.

Comment from: Lisa2, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 07

I have had a nosebleed start when I had a surgery done for polyps and deviated septum in 2004. Since that operation my nose has had terrible nosebleeds. I've had another surgery by another doctor in 2011 that stopped it for a month and a half. It came back again and I was sent to a hospital and the doctor there have me a gel pack and clindamycin. I wound up with C. difficile which wrecked my stomach till this day. I had to retire from my job after 23 years, I have since seen 7 other doctors and still am having horrible nosebleeds. I'm so frightened, till this day even as I'm writing right now I'm having one. I don't know why anyone can't help me. One doctor told me I should just keep swallowing the blood and eventually it would stop and he was one of the best doctors.

Comment from: Laila, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

My story about a "first" nosebleed today is a bit crazy. I had just gone into Starbucks to get a coffee to go. I came out to the car with my coffee and one napkin. I decided to blow my nose with the napkin. Oh boy...that's when the flood started. My napkin was saturated in seconds and no other tissue in the car. Yikes...this was scary! I ran back into Starbucks trying to not be noticed that I was bleeding to death! I grabbed a handful of napkins. Back into the car I went and literally did not know what to do. I called my husband on my cell and he told me the wrong things to do, particularly to put my head back...yuck the blood started going into the back of my throat. I didn't know where to pinch it. Reading from all of you who have posted, now I know! The worst of this nose bleed was the huge clots that came out, and the fact that it lasted so long. I didn't time it but it seemed like forever. I had to start driving while it was going on so I could get home for my daughter's school bus. At this point I was really starting to panic and almost went to the hospital (2 blocks away) but knew if I did I wouldn't get out in time to get home for the school bus. Soooo, I decided to keep driving towards home (15 minutes) away. At this point it must have been bleeding for at least a half hour or 45 minutes. Thank gosh, just before I pulled into the driveway it seemed to stop as suddenly as it started. I had just enough time to run inside and clean up all the blood and get out to the bus. Had my daughter seen all the blood she would have freaked out! When I threw away all the bloody Starbucks napkins I must say I was shocked at how much blood had come out. I never want to go through that again!

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 23

I recently had to go to the emergency room twice within a 24-hour period for heavy nose bleeds. I had never had a nose bleed before. The first ER only put a little lubricate in my nose after the bleeding stopped on its own and sent me home. The next morning, my nose started bleeding heavy again. Blood was pouring from my nose and month with large clots. I was rushed to a different ER where my nose had to be packed. This caused blood to come out of my eyes for a while. The packing had my face aching all night. The next day, I saw an ENT doctor who had to cauterize some blood vessels and repack it. The packing has to remain in my nose for five days. Right now, I have a slight clear dripping from my nose, which the doctor says is normal for now. I am extremely frightened that this will happen again.

Comment from: bri563, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 15

My nose bled for 45 minutes. I was in the gym working out when it started with a trickle. I carried on, but it started gushing. I was pressing my nose in the wrong place to stop it -- my doctor pressed it from the top. I pinched the bottom part. I was doing all the wrong things, including panicking. I thought it was a massive elevation of blood pressure, which it was not. I have not had any trouble since.

Comment from: ph1967, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I just recently had a nosebleed that lasted for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. I went to an after-hours clinic after about 20 minutes and they sent me to the emergency room (ER). By the time I got there, it had been bleeding for about an hour. They packed it with gauze in the after-hours clinic, and when I got to the ER, the blood was so backed up in my sinuses, that blood was coming out of my tear ducts. It finally stopped on its own. They gave me a nice clamp to use in the ER, and I have used it on two nosebleeds since I got home with success.

Comment from: lacticrat, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 20

The best idea I ever had for dealing with my son's nosebleeds was to invest in a bunch of bright red washcloths. I also found red toilet paper at Wal-Mart! This way, he can't see all the blood on the tissues, and is not nearly as alarmed. He gets nosebleeds often, we live at a high altitude, in a dry climate, but he's old enough now that he just goes and grabs a 'red rag' on his own.

Comment from: James, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: February 03

I have had 8 nose bleeds in just 2 days.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 14

I had a severe nose bleed. It was one of the worst that I have ever experienced. I ended up calling 911 and the ambulance came quickly. They put pressure on the nose to clamp it shut. This did not work as I continued to choke up blood clots. I was rushed to the ER where they clamped my nose with little success. They then inserted a balloon catheter in the nostril which it quickly bled through. They then replaced it with a larger balloon catheter. At this time the bleeding seemed to slow and this worked. I was sent the next day to the ENT which informed me that I need to keep this in for 5-6 days with a follow up visit with him to pull it out and check the nose.

Comment from: Wheezy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 27

Having never suffered nosebleeds until last summer (2013), naturally my first gusher was daunting. Like many of you, I did most things incorrectly (tilting back head choking on fast flowing blood pouring down my throat; not pinching nose or applying ice on bridge...). Finally, after daily nosebleeds--most occurring at night--awakening me from sound sleeps-- I visited an ENT physician last summer. The ENT showed me where/how to pinch my nose during nosebleeds, after which I was to BLOW OUT the extremely deep red, coagulated blood clots accumulated during pinching (very gross & frightening looking) into tissue until flow cessation. Once the bleed stopped, I was to take half a cotton ball, saturate it with Afrin, and pack it into my nose for at least 15 minutes. This contracts the vessel. This year's nosebleeds began three weeks ago for which I used the 'pinch and blow' method to stop the flow, followed by packing a saturated cotton ball in my nostril. However, I prefer witch hazel with aloe as it's homeopathic and works just as well as Afrin but without the dryness--a nosebleed's cardinal enemy.

Comment from: Cconners, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I was sitting on the bed petting my cat when all of the sudden my nose starts gushing. I don't get nose bleeds often or actually ever. I haven't had one in almost 15 years. But anyways I start freaking out. I clotted it up with a piece of paper towel. This happened twice finally after the third handmade packing it suddenly stopped.

Comment from: First timer, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 14

I had my first nose bleed in decades this morning. I am in a hotel in a city far from home. I write this to tell you all that like we learned to do for our child, I got ice and put it in a towel behind my neck and it stopped the bleeding. Hope this helps someone else as it can be a bit unnerving to see the amount of blood loss in such a short period of time.

Comment from: BleedingPerson, Female (Patient) Published: June 17

I had been suffering from a series of minor nose bleeds for about a week. I had never had a nosebleed before. None of them were entirely serious and lasted less than a minute. I was at a play when I noticed the blood splattered on my shirt and pooling on the floor. I looked in the mirror and was suddenly very aware of the massive amounts of blood streaming from my nose, down my neck and shirt. I tried to stop the bleeding with paper towels, which were immediately saturated with blood. When I tilted my head back, the blood began to pour down the back of my throat and out of my mouth. I didn't know what to do, and no one who passed me stopped to help, other than to tell me not to tilt my head. The theater's medics were with me for half an hour, trying to stop the bleeding before the eventually called the paramedics and I was taken to the hospital. After it had stopped, I was told that if it had continued for any longer, I would have died from blood loss. There wasn't any pain and there was nothing I could do to stop the bleeding, save for hold a towel near my nose and try not to irritate it.

Comment from: ladybugleader, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

Ever since I had my third baby 9 months ago I get at least one nose bleed a week. The thing is that it's always my right nostril only. Being almost 40 I maybe had a couple of nose bleeds when I was a child, so this is very odd.

Comment from: Sarah, 7-12 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I had lots of nosebleeds over the last 2 years each lasting 45 minutes. I have had it cauterized before, and it stopped for 5 or 6 months and then it started again. I'm not really sure what to do. I went swimming and it came out pumping and it happens a lot in school, too.

Comment from: 65-74 Female Published: March 08

I awoke with the bleeding. I tried to use the closest thing to me to stop the bleeding(toilet paper) went to the freezer and got a ice cube and held it to my nose for 15 minutes and a clot came out and the bleeding stopped.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I am slightly worried as in the past two days I have had two very severe nosebleeds - both times they continued for about half an hour and bleeding was very heavy - just big constant drops of blood. I know blood always looks more than it is but there was enough to soak straight through several huge bunches of tissues. All I could do was lean forward and wait for it to stop. If I'd pinched my nose I'd have choked! I haven't been doing or taking anything unusual and am not on blood-thinning medication. I've always had occasional nosebleeds as most people do but these were massive.

Comment from: [email protected], 35-44 Female Published: February 16

I never have nose bleeds and just up out of the blue I was taking a bath today and my daughter walked in and said mom your nose is bleeding. It didn't last but a few seconds, but I never have nose bleeds and I decided to blow my nose after the stop and blood clots came out.

Comment from: Howldaloom, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

I have never really suffered from nose bleeds in the past. 1-2 a year if I'm very lucky. Anyway, I have had a bad cold/cough/sore throat for few days now and last night I had 2 big nose bleeds. The second one took an hour to stop. In the morning I blew my nose and I ended up having about 5 nose bleeds. One after another. It feels like it's at the back of the nose and I have ended up pulling the clot out with the tissue on countless occasions. Not to be gory, but the clots were big. I have a bad cold and my nose is constantly runny or stuffed up so, I cannot avoid blowing my nose. I'm not sure if I should go to a doctor or just bear down. By the way, I suffer from slight high blood pressure.

Comment from: Dr.RG, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 04

I get nosebleeds after having baths. No, I always make sure that the water is not hot but just lukewarm. However, the main problem starts after I have my evening bath and then go to bed....I wake up with a start and the bleeding starts. At this point, I have to sit up and do all the right things. It takes a while to stop these bleeds, but my main worry is that I get dizzy spells during episodes of nosebleeds. I know that I do not have high blood pressure....so, I am now trying (by trial and error) to find out if certain bath salts, scents, talc etc might be causing them.

Comment from: clr63122, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

I had a nosebleed this morning. It lasted about 15-20 minutes. I have never had high blood pressure, but with the holiday stress and all, I told myself that this was the result (elevated blood pressure). This was the first nosebleed I ever had. I immediately went to the computer and typed in common causes of nose bleeds. The website was packed with the information that I needed.

Comment from: Concerned, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 30

Having never had a nosebleed, I had surgery for severe sinus problems several years ago. Now, after several years, I have recently started having recurring nosebleeds over several days at a time. They are usually of short duration, but happen as many as four times a day. I believe they are anterior, but sometimes I expel large clots from further back in the throat area. I think these are accumulations from when I sleep on my back, but I am not sure.

Comment from: cc, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

The exact thing happened to me: I recently had to go to the emergency room twice within a 24-hour period for heavy nose bleeds. I had never had a nose bleed before. The first ER only put a little lubricant in my nose after the bleeding stopped on its own and sent me home. The next morning, my nose started bleeding heavy again. Blood was pouring from my nose and mouth with large clots. I was rushed to a different ER where my nose had to be packed. This caused blood to come out of my eyes for a while. The packing had my face aching all night. The next day, I saw an ENT doctor whom I convinced to remove the painful packing in my nose but who gave me a gel (like Vaseline) and a nasal spray to put in my nose twice daily until I see him in 2 weeks. I will see him in two weeks to determine where the bleed is coming from. I also experienced the slight clear dripping from my nose, which the doctor says is normal for now. I am assuming that I will need to make sure I keep my nose moisturized. I am also afraid that it will happen again.

Comment from: solano626, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I recently had a bad nose bleed. Blood was gushing out of both sides of my nose and out my mouth. My daughter called 911 and I was rushed to the hospital. They checked it and couldn't see where the problem was coming from; packed it and sent me home. I was to see an ENT specialist in five days. I was very paranoid, and with this packing, it was hard to relax. I thought the bleeding had started again later that night, so I went back to the ER where they checked it and said it was normal. I went home and five days, I later went to the ENT specialist. My nose was still oozing blood and he also couldn't see where the problem was coming from, so he packed it again with a lesser packing, but was still very uncomfortable. After 10 more days like this, he took out the packing and the bleeding had stopped. He said that I cannot blow, or pick my nose ever. He told me to get some saline solution, but I can't use anything until it has completely healed.

Comment from: LMT, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 09

I had a nose bleed and panicked. Called 911, and got to ride in the ambulance to the ER only to find out that I was not pinching my nose in the right place. Pinch right under the bridge and do not hold your head back. I vomited blood because I was swallowing large amounts. I had nose bleeds two days in a row. However, this time I immediately pinched my nose in the right place and it subsided within 10 minutes.

Comment from: [email protected], 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

When I tip my head down, I get a nosebleed. The bleeding doesn't last long, but the blood is bright red.

Comment from: 3-6 (Caregiver) Published: October 06

My five-year-old only bleeds out of the right side of his nose, and I wonder why that is.

Comment from: firsteverandcurious, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 16

At age 68 I had my first and only, nosebleed. It just started dripping and wouldn't quit. I was taking an asprin regimen at the time. After approx. 45 minutes I called the nearest hospital and was told to come to the emergency room. So I drove there, holding a washcloth to my nose. By the time I got there, about 15 min., blood was dripping down my arm,neck and all over my shirt. The ER doc put ice on the back of my neck, a clamp on my nose, and gave me more pads to hold to my nose. The doc couldn't see where the blood was coming from, but soon decided to pack my nose with gauze in a (very weak) solution of cocaine with Afrin. I lay there for another hour until it finally quit bleeding. I was told to go home and keep my head up and not move much for the rest of the day, and to keep the gauze in my nostril for 2 days if I could, but the next day the gauze end stuck to a tissue I was blotting my nose with and came part way out so I pulled it all out. I've been a bit paranoid since then, but haven't had a repeat of the nosebleed. I am off asprin now, but will use it again soon, just not every day. There didn't seem to be any reason for the nosebleed, which is why I'm on this site now looking for clues. I was in the ER for over 2 1/2 hrs before the doc released me. I was never in pain. Ice on the back of my neck helped me feel better and I think it helped stop the bleeding.

Comment from: HinNC, Male (Patient) Published: February 26

I have found that pinching just below the bridge of the nose is sufficient to stop the bleeding, while pinching the nostrils shut as the article indicated can result with blood pooling in the nose. Why let it run back down to your mouth (maybe to protect the carpet), just hold a rag or towel under while keeping your head in an upright position and not tilted back.

Comment from: Amazed, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 29

My 8 year old had a head and chest cold. Upon blowing her nose, she started a nosebleed. After 45 mins, I took her to our local ER. After they made her wait for 2 hours, they used silver nitrate 3 times (first time forgetting to use lidocaine, thus burning her). They watched her for 15 minutes, then sent us home to follow up with an ENT if it started up again. They told us not to return to their ER as they were not equipped to handle her nosebleed! Of course as soon as we got home, it started up again, the ENT was of no help. I brought her into a big city hospital, where they applied 2 expanding cremes, which did nothing. They finally packed her, which slowed the bleeding. Overall, she bled heavily for 14 straight hours. She was admitted for observation. If the packing had not worked, they were going to use Afrin spray or consider surgery. We were told to leave the packing in and let it fall out on its own. This happened 26 hours after insertion. She has to take it easy for another week. I never imagined that a simple nosebleed could turn into such a nightmare!

REFERENCES:

Bamimore, O., MD. Acute Epistaxis. Medscape. Updated: Jun 12, 2017.
<http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/764719-overview>

Nguyen, QA, MD. Epistaxis. Medscape. Updated: Jan 15, 2017. Pediatrics.
<http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/994459-overview>

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