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Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Dr Eki Wari and Physician Sam Ng Teck Xian on August 18, 2022

Best Tips To Help You Stop Nose Bleeds

Did you know there are different types of nose bleeds you may be suffering from? Learn the possible causes and treatment options here.

Nose bleed min scaled

Nose bleeds certainly look scary, but they are probably more common than you think. In fact, only about 10% require medical attention.

Despite this, if you have a nose bleed, it’s a good idea to know the cause behind it so you can address it properly. This is especially true if you get them often.

Read on to learn about the different types of nose bleeds you may be suffering from and how to treat and prevent them at home.

What Is A Nose Bleed?

Most nose bleeds occur in the lower part of the septum between the two nostrils.

Epistaxis is the medical term for a nose bleed. The most common type is called an anterior nose bleed. It is when bleeding occurs in the lower part of the septum separating the two nostrils. This type accounts for the majority of nose bleed cases, especially in children and teens.

A posterior nose bleed, occurring further up and inside the nose, is more common in adults. It is also more likely to require medical attention. 


When we experience a nose bleed, this means a blood vessel has either ruptured due to some kind of trauma to the nose or a blood vessel has spontaneously ruptured due to an internal condition that renders the blood vessels weak. 

Some possible causes behind nose bleeds include:

  • Physical trauma that damages blood vessels due to frequent sneezing, coughing, and nose-clearing from the common cold
  • Drying of the nasal lining from cold winter air or indoor heaters
  • Inflammation of the nasal lining due to allergies
  • Slower clotting and weak blood vessels due to older age, high blood pressure, and certain medications like aspirin and warfarin

In rare cases, what causes nose bleeds could be a rare disease. Growths, such as nasal polyps or tumors, alter the physiology of the nose, and blood cancers like leukemia or rare blood disorders like thrombocytopenia decrease blood platelets in the body could be what causes them. 

How To Treat Nose Bleeds

Avoid leaning forward when you have a nose bleed. This may cause you to ingest blood.

The correct response to treating a nose bleed is to sit upright while leaning forward slightly. Lying down or tilting your head backward could lead to the blood flowing back into your throat. This causes coughing and choking. You could even ingest blood by accident, which can cause an upset stomach.

Pinch the soft part of your nose on the outside of both nostrils with your fingers for about five to ten minutes. Breathe through your mouth. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after ten minutes, pinch again for another ten to 20 minutes. Use an ice compress on the nose to help constrict blood vessels.

After about 20 minutes, take a five-minute break and try again. Do not blow your nose into a tissue to empty out the blood as this may cause further rupture and bleeding. 

Bleeding that persists for more than 20 to 30 minutes requires medical attention. At the clinic or the hospital, the doctor may do a cauterization, a procedure that burns and seals the ruptured vessel using either a chemical or an electrical implement. The doctor may also try a nasal pack to absorb and control the blood. Failure to stop bleeding using the previous methods may require surgery to seal off the ruptured vessel.  

Nose Bleeds, According To TCM

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Physician Ng Teck Xian explains that since your nose is connected to your Lungs, your Qi can be obstructed by Heat. “The upward reversal of Qi and Blood will lead to nose bleeds, which is related to the three viscera of the Lungs, Liver and Spleen,” he explains.

However, internal Heat is not the only cause. They can also be a symptom of sthenia syndrome caused by fever, or asthenia syndrome caused by weakness. Physician Ng further shares that there are five different categories of nose bleeds. These are Lung Heat, Stomach Heat, Liver Heat, Liver and Kidney Yin Deficiency, or Spleen failing to control Blood.

Specific treatment would differ depending on which syndrome is causing the nose bleed. The general protocol would be to stop the bleeding and clear the Heat while nourishing the organs.

TCM remedies for nose bleeds

Ginseng tea can help reduce Heat and keep you hydrated to control nose bleeds in the future.

In addition to the Western treatment options and prevention methods shared earlier, in TCM, it is also advisable to avoid spicy and oily foods that can bring excessive Heat into the body.

Physician Ng also shares that a simple hot ginseng tea recipe with about 5g each of American ginseng, dwarf lilyturf, and Rehmannia root brewed in about 500 ml of hot water and a bit of salt can help eliminate Heat, promote body fluids, tonify the Lungs, and nourish yin

In other words, the best prevention for nose bleeds is to maintain good health and internal balance. Pay attention to what causes them and avoid substances that could cause them.

Keep an eye on medication or drugs that may be causing systemic nose bleeds. Limit or eliminate alcohol or tobacco smoke, as these can also be the culprit. Most cases aren’t a cause for alarm but frequent nose bleeds could be a sign of an emerging illness or disease, so it’s always best to check with your doctor.


  1. myHEALTH, Ministry of Health Malaysia. 2014. Epistaxis (Nose Bleeds).  
  2. Cleveland Clinic. 2019. Nosebleed (Epistaxis).  
  3. StatPearls, National Institute of Health. 2021. Epistaxis 

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