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What is the Connection Between a Nosebleed and Blood Pressure?

By Sonal Panse
Updated May 17, 2024
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"Nosebleed" is known in medical terms as epistaxis, and it is a relatively common condition that can affect both children and adults. This kind of hemorrhaging takes place when the delicate blood vessels in the nasal septum get ruptured; the nasal septum is the thin partitioning tissue inside the nose. When the blood vessels in the frontal area of the nose get ruptured, it is an anterior nosebleed, and when the blood vessels to the back of the nasal septum are damaged, it is a posterior nosebleed. While anterior nosebleed, the less serious of the two, can be caused by a variety of climatic as well as physical reasons, there appears to be a definite connection between posterior nosebleed and blood pressure.

In case of high blood pressure, the nasal septum blood vessels are subjected to more stress and are therefore more likely to rupture. Another causative factor connecting nosebleed and blood pressure is a condition called atherosclerosis. This condition is often seen in people suffering from high blood pressure and it causes the walls of the blood vessels to harden. When the blood vessel walls harden, they are liable to crack with the blood pressure and then the result is a bloody nose. There is also a connection between a nosebleed and blood pressure medications like aspirin and warfarin; these medications are anticoagulants and thin the blood, hampering the clotting process and therefore making the bleeding difficult to stop once it has started.

A common remedy to treat a nosebleed is to apply an ice-pack to the nose. Another useful remedy is to lean forward so that there is no chance of any backward blood flow and to pinch the nose tip for several minutes until the bleeding ceases. If the bleeding still continues after this, then it is imperative to go see a doctor.

Unlike with anterior nosebleed, high blood pressure-related bleeding from the posterior area can be somewhat difficult to stem. In some extreme cases where the nosebleed shows no sign of subsiding, it may be necessary to exert external pressure on the ruptured blood vessels or to cauterize them to stop the bleeding. External pressure may be applied by bandaging the nose, and cauterizing may be done by laser or electric treatment. People with recurring bouts of nosebleed may be advised to get a reevaluation of their current medications and perhaps switch to ones that are less liable to cause such severe side effects.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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