Can Allergies Cause Nosebleeds?

Man Using a Nasal Inhaler
If You Irritate Your Nose Enough, it Can Bleed. (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Seasonal and other allergies can cause your nasal passages to swell and become irritated. This swelling and irritation is known as rhinitis. Add to rhinitis, constant sneezing, picking your nose to relieve itching, overusing localized sinus remedies, rubbing or blowing your nose too often, or having sensitive, vascular nasal passages, and you now have become susceptible to nosebleeds.

Allergens and Actions

Portrait of cat
Animal Allergens: Dander (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Allergens are substances inside your home (dander or dust) or outside your home (pollen and ragweed) which irritate the mucousal linings of your nasal passages. With the nasal passage irritation comes swelling, sneezing, and drainage. Most people will tolerate this annoyance for awhile and then seek over-the-counter medicinal relief. Taking action against allergic rhinitis and nosebleeds is a beneficial thing to do. So, go ahead. Consult with an allergist about receiving shots to reduce your susceptibility to allergens. Take allergy medications to provide symptomatic relief. Speak with an ear, nose, and throat doctor to discuss with him or her the possibility of cauterizing that sensitive, vascular area in your nasal passage. Be proactive. Save yourself an unnecessary nosebleed from aggravated, allergic rhinitis.

The Anterior and Posterior Nasal Passages

Novelty disguise
Nasal Passages (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

You have an anterior and a posterior nasal passage in each side of your nose. Most nosebleeds come from an anterior nasal passage. Anterior nasal nosebleeds are the ones you'll see trickling from your or someone else's nose. The anterior sinuses are most susceptible to any outside irritation and therefore the ones most likely to bleed. This is because they are the first to encounter allergens. The posterior nasal passages drain blood down the throat during a nosebleed, and the blood is therefore swallowed. Both the anterior and the posterior nasal passages are subject to rhinitis.

Allergic Rhinitis

Woman blowing her nose
The Symptoms (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Allergic rhinitis affects 10 to 20 per cent of the population (and growing). It can cause loss of work production and just plain misery. Your nasal passages are inflamed, occluded, full of mucous, and itchy. You can't stop sneezing. Your eyes itch, are watery, red, and swollen. How do you, the sufferer survive? Take note of what you are allergic to and avoid it. Seek local and systemic relief from your drugstore and see your doctor.

Allergy-related Epistaxis (Nosebleed)

Close-up of a young woman with a nosebleed
Allergic Rhinitis Complicated by Epistaxis (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Pollen, pet dander, mold and other allergy-triggering irritants will commonly provoke rhinitis. If you sneeze, pick, rub, or blow your nose too much, overuse local sinus medications, or have sensitive nasal mucosa, you'll get a bleed. So then what do you do? Pinch your nostrils closest to where they connect to your forehead using your thumb and index finger. Sit in an upright position, your head tilted slightly forward. Do not release the pressure for 5 to 10 minutes. Apply an icepack lengthwise over the cheeks and nose. (The ice pack can be made up by crushing ice in a gallon-size, plastic zipper, storage bag, wrapped in a kitchen towel). You might also want to try packing the nasal passages with Kleenex. If the nose bleed is profuse and you cannot stop it within 20 minutes, or if you see clots, call 911.

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