Headache and Nosebleed – Causes, Treatment & Prevention

headache and nosebleed

Headache and Nosebleed

What’s causing headache and nosebleed? It’s typical to experience headaches and nosebleeds, called epistaxis. Blood vessels in the nose can burst or break, which causes nosebleeds. A headache plus a nosebleed might indicate a small problem like hay fever or a more serious problem like anemia, or a low red blood cell count.

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What causes headaches and nosebleeds

Environmental and lifestyle factors can contribute to headaches and nosebleeds. It’s easy to rupture the small blood vessels in your nose, especially when it’s dry out. A deviated septum, or a shifted wall in your nose, is a common cause of both symptoms. Along with headaches and nosebleeds, a deviated septum can cause blockage in one or both nostrils, facial pain, and noisy breathing during sleep.

Other mild conditions that can cause headaches and nosebleeds are:

  • allergic rhinitis, or hay fever
  • common cold
  • sinus infection
  • excessive use of decongestants or nasal sprays
  • dry mucus in the nose

Some serious but less common conditions that can cause headaches and nosebleeds are:

  • congenital heart disease
  • leukemia
  • brain tumor
  • essential thrombocythemia, or increased platelets in the blood

Visit your doctor if other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or dizziness, accompany your headaches and nosebleeds.

Headaches and nosebleeds in adults

What causes headaches and nosebleeds in adults? Adults experiencing headaches had a considerably higher rate of nosebleeds, according to one research. The results also raise the possibility that nosebleeds precede migraines, although further study is required in this area. If you frequently get nosebleeds with a strong headache, your body may be sending you an early warning sign.

A number of things can trigger both a headache and a nosebleed, including:

  • overly dry environment
  • carbon monoxide poisoning
  • high blood pressure
  • anemia
  • nose infection
  • overuse of cocaine
  • accidental inhalation of chemicals, such as ammonia
  • side effects of drugs, such as warfarin
  • head injury

You should always see a doctor after a head injury, especially if it gets progressively worse.

According to one research, those who have HHT frequently have nosebleeds and migraines simultaneously. HHT is a rare hereditary condition that results in various aberrant blood vessel formations.

Headache and nosebleed during pregnancy

Causes of headaches and nosebleeds during pregnancy: Headaches and nosebleeds are common during pregnancy, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia claims that. During pregnancy, you or someone you know can have trouble breathing. This is due to increased blood flow to the lining of your nose and nasal passages. Nosebleeds can be brought on by the increased blood flow to the tiny arteries in your nose.

Hormonal changes might occur, especially in the first trimester. Headaches may also result from this. If your headaches are severe and persistent, contact your doctor. This may be a sign of preeclampsia, or high blood pressure and organ damage.

Always see your doctor if the nosebleeds are excessive and your headaches don’t go away after 20 minutes. Read 15 Serious Causes of Ovarian Pain During Pregnancy

Headache and nosebleed in children

Causes of headaches and nosebleeds in children:

  • picking the nose
  • having poor posture
  • skipping meals
  • not getting enough sleep

Additionally, studies have shown that children with headaches are more prone to get nosebleeds. Sometimes, excessive bleeding might result in headaches. These signs may point to a more serious problem, such as high blood pressure, leukemia, or anemia, if they occur frequently and closely together.

Make an appointment with their doctor if your child also shows these symptoms:

  • tiredness
  • weakness
  • chills, or feeling cold
  • dizziness, or feeling lightheaded
  • easy bruising or bleeding

To identify the problem, your doctor will examine your child’s blood pressure and could advise having a full blood count. According to this study, if your child doesn’t have a main headache or if their neurological test is odd, you should have them obtain a brain scan.

When to worry about a nosebleed and get emergency medical care

Call 911 or local emergency services, or go to the emergency room (ER) if you have a headache along with:

  • confusion
  • fainting
  • fever
  • paralysis on one side of your body
  • trouble with movements, such as speaking or walking
  • nausea or vomiting that aren’t flu-related

Seek medical attention immediately if your nose is:

  • bleeding excessively
  • constantly bleeding for more than 20 minutes
  • bleeding that’s interfering with your breathing
  • broken

If your child has a nosebleed and is younger than 2 years old, you should take them to the ER.

Schedule a visit with your doctor if your nosebleed and headaches are:

  • ongoing or recurring
  • keeping you from participating in normal activities
  • getting worse
  • not improving with the use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicine

Most nosebleeds and headaches will go away on their own or with self-care.

This information is a summary of emergency situations. Contact your doctor if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency. See 11 Different Types of Headaches and How to Treat Them

How are a headache and nosebleed diagnosed?

You may find it helpful to keep track of your symptoms before your doctor’s appointment. Your doctor may ask you these questions:

  • Are you taking any new medications?
  • Are you using any decongestant sprays?
  • How long have you had these headaches and nosebleeds?
  • What other symptoms or discomforts are you experiencing?

They may also ask about your family history to see if you have any genetic risk factors for certain conditions.

Answering these questions will also help your doctor decide which tests you may need. Some tests your doctor may order are:

  • blood tests to check for blood cell count or other blood diseases
  • head or chest X-rays
  • ultrasound of your kidney to check for signs of chronic kidney disease
  • blood pressure test

Treatments for headaches and nosebleeds

How do you stop a nosebleed? If the nosebleed doesn’t stop, your doctor will use a cauterizing or heating tool to seal off a blood vessel. This will stop your nose from bleeding and help reduce the risk of future bleeding. Other treatment for nosebleeds may include surgery to remove a foreign object or correct a deviated septum or fracture.

While OTC pain medication can reduce your headache, aspirin may contribute to further nose bleeding. Aspirin is a blood thinner. Your doctor will prescribe special medication if you experience frequent migraines.

Your doctor will also focus on treating the underlying condition first if it’s the cause of your headaches. See Headache on Left Side of Head: Here’s all you Need to Know

How to treat headaches in children

A study of children and headaches recommends nonpharmacological approaches first, even for chronic daily headaches. These methods include:

  • keeping a headache diary to identify patterns and triggers
  • making sure your child eats all of their meals
  • changing environmental factors, such as bright lights
  • adopting healthy lifestyle factors, such as exercise and good sleeping habits
  • practicing relaxation techniques

See 11 Different Types of Headaches and How to Treat Them

Caring for headaches and nosebleeds at home

A cool room temperature can help minimize nosebleed risk. You can do the following to immediately treat your nosebleed:

  • Sit up to reduce your nasal blood pressure and minimize bleeding.
  • Lean forward to help prevent blood from entering your mouth.
  • Pinch both nostrils shut to put pressure on your nose.
  • Place cotton pads in your nose while you hold it to prevent blood from escaping.

You should hold your nostrils closed for 10 to 15 minutes when putting pressure on your nose.

Once you’ve stopped the bleeding, you can place a warm or cool compress on your head or neck to reduce the pain. Resting in a quiet, cool, and dark room can also help reduce your pain.

See Headache Location Meaning and what it’s Trying to Tell you

How to prevent headaches and nosebleeds

You may use vaporizers in your home to keep the air moist during dry seasons. By preventing the inside of your nose from drying out, you’ll lower your likelihood of experiencing nosebleeds. If you have seasonal allergies, you may also want to take an over-the-counter allergy medication to avoid headache and nose symptoms.

It could be necessary to teach your child not to pick their nose, depending on the reason for nosebleeds. Toys and play areas that are secure can lessen the likelihood that children will put things in their nose.

By making efforts to eliminate stress in your life, you might be able to avoid or alleviate tension and migraine headaches. This can entail altering your seating position, scheduling downtime for unwinding, and recognizing triggers so you can stay away from them. See Headache on Right Side of Head – Causes & How to Treat