First Aid for a Broken Blood Vessel in Nose and What are Its Causes?

Broken blood vessel in nose is nothing but nose bleed, a common phenomenon in many children and adults. Broken vessel in nose though scary and embarrassing is not a serious condition and often it is self limited. However, it may be a life threatening in elderly individuals. ‘Epistaxis’ is a medical name for nose bleed. Normally nasal lining has rich supply of blood vessels; the delicate capillaries in the nose are vulnerable to slightest trauma, they break and bleed easily. Many times the cause for epistaxis is as trivial as nose picking or while blowing your nose very hard.

In winter you may find number of cases suffering from nose bleed. The reason is frequent colds and upper respiratory tract infections. The inner lining of the nose is vulnerable from fluctuating dryness and atmospheric humidity; it damages the mucus membrane of the nose causing nose bleed.

The blood vessels in the nose break either from the front region or from deep down the nose. The former is called anterior nosebleed while the later is called posterior nosebleed. Bleeding from anterior region is common among children and young adults. Elderly individuals usually have posterior nose bleeding due to high blood pressure.

Causes of Blood Leakage in Nose

There are several reasons for broken vessels in nose or epistaxis as it called.

The most important cause is dry air. Extreme dryness during winter or extreme heat irritates and dries the internal lining of the nose. Crusts develop that may itch. Bleeding begins as soon as you scratch and pick your nose.

Cold: frequent cold and running nose can irritate your nose and its lining. Repeated blowing will damage the delicate capillaries and they start leaking.

A traumatic injury to the nose or the base of the skull, insertion of a foreign body inside the nose (especially in children) can break the tiny blood vessels of the nasal mucus membrane.

Allergy and allergic rhinitis that causes sneezing, itching and stuffy nose is also responsible for nosebleed. The prescribed antihistamines and decongestants can cause dryness of mucus membrane and it may lead to nosebleed.

In older people high blood pressure is also a cause for broken nasal vessels.

Other reasons for broken nasal vessels include:

Infective fever: influenza, typhoid, dengue, chronic bronchitis etc.

Cirrhosis of liver, kidney failure, leukemia, thrombocytopenia etc can also cause nasal bleeding.

Defective mechanism of blood clotting such as hemophilia, vitamin K deficiency, Christmas disease etc is also responsible for bleeding from nose especially on slightest trauma.

In some cases nose bleed may occur without any specific cause.

First Aid for a Broken Blood Vessel in Nose

  • Pressure: mild, spontaneous or nasal bleeding due to injury is usually cured by pinching the nose for about 5 minutes. It acts as pressure on the blood vessels from which bleeding is occurring.
  • Apply ice cold packs on the nose. It stops bleeding by constricting the blood vessels.
  • You can also place a wet towel on the head; it is beneficial in curing nose bleeding.
  • Saline water spray is an effective home remedy for treating broken blood vessel in nose. Take a pinch of salt and add it to one glass of water. Spray it inside the nose.
  • If there is a tendency for nose bleed in winter season, you can use a vaporizer at home to ensure humid atmosphere.
  • If nosebleed is frequent such as once or twice in a week, it is necessary to consult your doctor to rule out several medical causes such as blood disorders.
  • If the cause of nosebleed is dryness, you can apply Vaseline.
  • When the bleeding stops do not blow your nose or else it will dislodge the clot which may bleed again.