For some people, nosebleeds are an unpleasant memory from childhood. However, they can affect anyone at any age. Originators of the worrisome sight include allergies, sinus infections, dry air, medications, conditions like hemophilia, and injury.

Commonly experienced are anterior nosebleeds, which usually affect one nostril and start close to the nasal septum. Posterior nosebleeds typically affect the elderly and begin from somewhere deeper in the nasal cavity. Often, this type requires medical intervention that may include cauterization, packing, or lasers.

No matter how many times you’ve dealt with one, it’s never a pleasant experience. You run through tissues, and if it comes on suddenly, you usually wind up with a mess to clean up. But first things first, you need to stop that river from getting out of control.

And you need to do it without causing further damage or discomfort. What do you do first? Tilt your head backwards? Well, that’s not the move you want to make. Check out how to stifle a nosebleed the right way with these first aid tips below.

  1. Sit, Don’t Lay

    Stay upright and lean your head forward. Don’t be tempted to recline under the assumption that you’re keeping more blood from gushing out. You want to avoid it dripping down your throat and into your stomach. Swallowed blood can lead to stomach irritation and vomiting for some.

  2. Become a Mouth Breather

    Nothing is wrong with that. This is an emergency and with your nasal passages preoccupied, breathing through the mouth is necessary.

  3. Pinch It

    Apply pressure to your nose by pinching it just above the nostrils where it’s soft. Take note to see if the bleeding starts to subside after about five minutes. If not, it’s possible you’re not squeezing the place where the affected tissue is located. Move your pinch up or down a little until you find it. Hold it for ten minutes (and up to 20) until bleeding has stopped.

  4. Ice It

    Place an ice pack on the bridge of your nose to help the blood clot. The coldness assists with constricting the blood vessels enough so the bleeding stops. You can apply the cold compress as you’re pinching your nose or have someone assist you.

Stick to the video to hear more info on clearing up a nosebleed, and be sure to pass on some of these tips to your kids in the event you’re not around. Watch out for excessive bleeding that lasts 30 minutes or more or if accompanied by faintness or dizziness. Seek immediate medical attention!

Some things you can do to prevent a nosebleed include refraining from nose-picking, using a humidifier, moisturizing the nostrils with a saline solution, and dropping a smoking habit. Not only is smoking bad for the lungs, but it dries out the nasal cavity.

If you are noticing that you have frequent nosebleeds, it’s possible that there is a medical issue linked to their recurrence. Speak to your doctor if you have persistent bleeds over time.

Do you suffer from a fair share of nosebleeds? What was the cause? Were you treating them wrong by leaning forward?