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Winter Nosebleeds
February 8, 2015, 2:41 pm

Nosebleeds are a common during the winter and should not be a cause for concern, an expert says.

“Cold winter air can be drying and irritating to the nose, and so can forms of indoor heat, such as forced air and fireplaces. Blood flow from the nose can range from a few drops to a real gusher,” explains doctors.

Older individuals are more susceptible to nosebleeds in winter because their mucous membranes are not as lush and the dry air causes the thinning blood vessels in the nose to break. Older women and people taking blood-thinning drugs have an even greater risk. Women who are postmenopausal are especially vulnerable to nosebleeds because of the decrease in estrogen that increases bodily fluids. Anyone who is taking blood thinners such as an aspirin regimen also is prone to nosebleeds.

If you get a nosebleed, do not panic. Tilt your head back and apply firm pressure to the nostrils for about five minutes. Apply ice. The cold causes blood vessels to constrict, which limits and slows blood flow.

There are also some things you can do to prevent winter nosebleeds.

Get a humidifier and run it, especially in the bedrooms, with the door closed, a few hours before bed. You will be spending eight hours or so asleep and your nose, like you, needs a soothing rest.

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