Nosebleeds can be really dramatic and sometimes very frightening. However, more often than not, nosebleeds are not serious and can be handled easily.
There are basically two types of nosebleed, an anterior nosebleed, and posterior nosebleed.
The anterior bleeding occurs in the lower septum of the nostrils, and makes up 90% of all the nosebleeds. It is easy to control it, either at home or by a doctor.
On the other hand, posterior nosebleed happens if the bleeding is at the back of the nose. It is hard to diagnose, complicated, and most at times may require admission to the hospital.
There are different factors associated with nosebleeds, and some people think that stress has a role to play in it. Can stress cause nosebleeds and if it can, how can you prevent it?
Can Stress Cause Nosebleeds?
According to NCBI, many bleeding episodes are linked to ambient stress, however, it may not be the direct cause of bleeding rather a trigger in most cases.
An article published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 suggests that nosebleeds will only occur when there is excessive stress mostly accompanied by high blood pressure. The spike in the blood pressure may cause the delicate blood vessels in the nose to crack, which results in nose bleeding.
Mental stress releases some unpleasant emotions like fear, sadness or anxiety, however, the damaging effect may not be associated with emotional health only, it also has a significant effect on the physical health.
The human brain behaves in a certain way when under constant stress. Mainly, it causes some changes in the functioning of the body, in an attempt to cope with the increasing level of strain when you are stressed up.
The pressure within the blood vessel increases and the delicate arteries in the nasal cavity will mostly be the first to respond to this change in pressure, which ultimately means nose bleeding.
How Much Stress Can Cause Nosebleeding?
Everybody has different thresholds for stress. Today, even children are stressed in their own ways.
In his book “On the Brink” Henry Paulson, former secretary of Treasure admits being so stressed out during the 2008 financial meltdown that he would dry-heave alone and even in public.
Just like Paulson, too much stress results from demands that you feel you cannot fulfill. To some people, these demands are so overwhelming that the results become physical or psychological. Note that, a nosebleed is spontaneous and has no apparent symptoms; therefore stress nosebleeds can be difficult to diagnose.
In order to prevent and treat stress nosebleeds, you will need to learn how to recognize early symptoms of stress. These may either be physical and emotional or cognitive and behavioral.
Physical and emotional symptoms of stress
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of frustration, agitation or moodiness
- Headaches, upset stomach and frequent infections
- Low libido
- Dry mouth
- Teeth grinding or clenching your jaw
- Sweaty hands or feet
- Chest or neck pain
Cognitive and behavioral symptoms
- Inability to concentrate
- Temper outbursts
- Poor judgement
- Racing thoughts and negativity
- Loss of appetite
- Resorting to drugs and other unhealthy coping mechanisms
- Fidgeting and nail biting
What to do When you Have Stress Nosebleeds
To keep stress nosebleeds from getting any worse, your initial step should be trying to keep yourself calm.
Admittedly, this might be quite difficult especially when you are bleeding, but try as much as you can to keep it calm because your body has the ability to stop the bleeding more faster than you can imagine if you relax. In order to relax, here are few things you might want to try:
Relax Your Breath
If you breathe too fast, you are bound to encourage your heart to race and if that happens, things can get messier.
If you control your breath, you do not only keep your mind and body functioning at their best, but you also lower blood pressure, which means less or no nosebleeding at all.
MedinePlus recommends that you sit down, layback (not down) when you experience nosebleed, pinch your soft portion of the nose with your one finger, and thumb at least for 10 minutes.
Do not swallow the blood and make sure that you breathe through your nose. It might help to apply ice across the bridge of your nose.
It is always advisable to stay positive, as any stress trigger will make things worse. Try to concentrate on the world around you, tell yourself positive mantra if you have to. Do whatever you have to do not to elevate the condition.
If you are looking for a simple way to unwind your stress, just try a glass of water. Studies have shown that being a half liter-dehydrated increases your cortisol levels, which is one of the stress hormones.
Being hydrated won’t magically solve all your problems, but the last thing you need to add on your stress burden is dehydration. Water is very effective at keeping your nasal passage from drying, especially if you live in dry areas.
In order to successfully manage stress nosebleeds, you need to avoid things that trigger it (stressors).
There are many ways you can reduce stress triggers and some are a matter of logic. Keep track of the things that make you extremely stressful, and avoid them in future.
How to Stop Nosebleeds Quickly
Unfortunately, you don't have any control over when you get a nosebleed. It can happen at the most inopportune times when you're already stressed, like before an important job interview or a date. In those situations, you need a quick fix.
Fortunately there are products you can use to stop the bleeding. We recommend BleedCease. All you have to do is leave plug in your nose for about 30 minutes and it stops the bleeding. If your nose tends to bleed when you're stressed, make sure you have some of these on-hand, they're life savers.
Plus, they're discreet so you don't have to walk around looking like this.
Now, nosebleeds can be caused by many other factors, like allergies, aspirin usage, chemical irritants, trauma to your nose, and many other factors. So it is important not to speculate and talk to your doctor to determine the exact cause of your nosebleeds.
If your doctor ascertains that you have stress nosebleeds, understand that you have the power to decrease the likelihood of the nosebleed by helping your mind and body get stronger to fight stress.