Just another symptom of allergies, beyond the sneezing, eye itching, coughing and runny nose…nosebleeds. They are not really as common as the other symptoms, but definitely can be caused by allergies.
So why do allergies cause nosebleeds? With allergies comes some nasal swelling which can make the capillaries more susceptible to bursting. Also, with some allergy medicines, drying of the nasal passages occurs which can also lead to broken capillaries. With allergies, a child is also more apt to rub his or her nose, therefore leading to nosebleeds. It’s more common in children than adults, as are nosebleeds in general.
Is it dangerous, no. With any type of bleeding, it usually looks like a lot more blood is being lost than actually is. Usually the bleeding lasts for only a few minutes, however if it lasts more than ten minutes with no sign of subsiding, it may be cause for concern. Both of my children have had numerous nosebleeds, sometimes a few in a week, sometimes months or years between them. It usually occurs more in the winter months or duing allergy season.
In fact, just the other day, my daughter had a gushing nose bleed, that got all over everything before we got it under control. She had also had some minor ones over the past week, maybe just a small amount here or there, but enough to take to her the school clinic a time or two.
Way back when we saw the ENT for this and he assured it was normal, though inconvenient. He gave us some advice, and I also have found some “old wives’ tales” remedies that may or may not work.
According to Dr. Greene,
the best treatment is keeping the child quiet, and tilting the head forward, are good ideas, but the most important step, as with most bleeding, is to apply direct pressure. For nosebleeds, this means gently pinching the soft part of your child’s nose against the center, using a thumb and forefinger.
This pressure should be held in place for 5-10 minutes by the clock, without peeking to see if the bleeding has stopped until the time is up. If the bleeding has not yet stopped entirely, you may repeat this one time.
In most cases, the bleeding will have stopped. If not, contact your physician or have your child seen right away.
Some other do’s and don’ts for nosebleeds:
• Do try to keep your child from picking or rubbing his or her nose (eaiser said than done sometimes), but this may help with nosebleeds.
• Don’t put tissue or anything up the nose to absorb the blood or try to stop the bleeding.
• Do not blow your nose during a nosebleed. As tempting as it may be, don’t blow your nose because the blood is trying to clot and by blowing it, it is unable to do so.
• Don’t tilt the head back, it can cause blood to run down the throat and cause choking.
• Do use saline nose drops. Only use saline because the prescription nose drops or stronger ones can damage the tender capillaries in the nose and actually cause nose bleeds. One reason they bleed is that they are dried out, and saline is natural moisture.
• Do apply a thin coating of Vaseline to the inside of the nose. For the same reason as above, vaseline provides a protective barrier while at the same time adding moisture to the nose.
• Do try to relax (you and your child!). Less stress will help the bleeding stop.
Here are some of the other things I found, some may work, some may not, but nonetheless, they are interesting to read:
• Put a copper penny in your mouth and with your tongue hold it to the roof of your mouth.( For about 2 minutes) This will stop your nose bleed. Please be careful not to swallow the penny, this would just be for adults, not children. (plus it’s sort of gross putting money in your mouth).
• Put ice on the nose and the back of the neck. The ice on the nose slows the blood (because of the cold), and the ice on the neck slows the blood flow to the head.
• Tear off a small piece of paper towel or kleenex, even a brown paper bag. Wet it and fold it into a rectangle, then place it right above the top front teeth on the gums. This should stop the bleeding. (This is what I did as a kid and it worked and it works for my kids, too.)
If nosebleeds are extremely often, more than a few times a week for consistent weeks, or if they last for more than 10 minutes, you may choose to see your doctor or an ENT. Otherwise, try not to worry. Most kids have nosebleeds and they usually grow out of them by puberty.