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Worried about nosebleeds?

Bookmark and Share Most nosebleeds take you by surprise. You think you have a runny nose until you see a flash of red in the tissue. Then you instinctively throw your head back and pinch the bridge of your nose in hope of stopping it. When it finally stops, you wonder why it started in the first place. "Nosebleeds are very common because the nose is full of tiny blood vessels that are easily broken," says Virtua Health otolaryngologist, Samir Shah, MD. Allergies, dry air or excessive nose blowing or picking causes most, but they can also occur in people taking blood-thinning medications. Pinching the nose for five to 10 minutes or applying ice to the nose and cheeks will usually stop the bleeding. "Often, you can prevent these types of nosebleeds from recurring by applying a moisturizer like petroleum jelly just inside the nostrils or using saline spray," states Dr. Shah. But severe nosebleeds that recur daily should be evaluated by an ear, nose and throat specialist. These types of nosebleeds may be a sign of infection, high blood pressure or, rarely, cancerous tumors. If you have a nosebleed that lasts longer than 20 minutes or that makes you feel dizzy or confused, seek immediate medical care.