Chronic headache sufferers are well aware that pain and discomfort in the head, as well as tension in the jaw, neck and shoulders are all related to headache pain. Meanwhile, blood vessels that break in the nose cause a nosebleed, which is uncomfortable and difficult to stop. There are numerous causes for both headaches and nosebleeds. These can range from a minor issue like hay fever or the common cold, to more severe causes.
Why Do I Have a Headache and Nosebleed?
There are numerous notable causes for both headaches and nosebleeds. Consider the following variety of reasons for these afflictions.
- Overly Dry Air
When nosebleeds occur regularly during winter months, the typical cause is dry air due to recirculation through the heating element. This dries out the mucous membranes in the nose and causes cracking and bleeding through the nose. The use of a humidifier can help with the nosebleed and also can alleviate headaches that can be caused by the same issue.
- High Blood Pressure
If someone is already diagnosed with high blood pressure and gets a headache and nosebleed, as well as shortness of breath, it is wise to seek immediate medical attention. The high blood pressure, if causing headache and nosebleed, can progress to more serious issues like stroke, heart attack or another serious medical condition if left untreated.
Treatment: For those with high blood pressure, the treatment would be a medication prescribed to help treat the high blood pressure. It can also be the option of packing the nostrils with cotton to put pressure against the bleeding blood vessels and stop the bleeding that way.
When a headache and/or nosebleed occur while a person also has pale skin, heart palpitations, fatigue and shortness of breath, the culprit may be anemia, or an insufficient amount of red blood cells. This can cause both headaches and nosebleeds frequently.
- Head Injury
Particularly for the elderly and those with high blood pressure, an accident where a head injury occurs can result in a headache and/or nosebleed. Damage to blood vessels in the rear part of the nose can also cause a nosebleed. Headaches that get progressively worse after a head injury can be a sign of significant issues, and a trip to the doctor should be made immediately.
- Sinus Infection
A headache can occur when someone has a sinus infection, and that is traced back simply to the discomfort of having the infection. However, when people use too many decongestants, that can cause the nose to be irritated and bleed.
When a person is afflicted with an episode of migraine, the pain can cause a rise in blood pressure, and this in turn can result in a headache and nosebleed. The capillaries in the nose can also widen and result in a nosebleed.
- Cocaine Abuse
This typically causes nosebleeds when snorting the drug and the headaches occur when the high is wearing off.
- Other Possible Causes
- Environmental Factors: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Chemical Inhalation
- Medical Conditions: Chronic Kidney Disease, Leukemia, Diabetes, Middle Ear Infection, Heat Exhaustion and Dehydration
Treatment of Headache and Nosebleed
Cauterization may be used for those with chronic nosebleeds that are taking progressively longer to stop the bleeding each time. Meanwhile, pain medication can be recommended to help with headaches. This can be an issue if the suggestion is aspirin, because aspirin thins the blood and can exacerbate the nosebleed.
There can also be an issue if you take medicine to treat a headache too often, as the concept of rebound headaches can be introduced. Rebound headaches are caused because you take medicine at a certain time, and the body begins to expect that medication. When it is not introduced, the body causes a reaction to get the expected medicine. Therefore, it is a vicious cycle that repeats until you can get through without taking medicine for a couple days in a row.
For those with chronic migraines, a specific medication from a group of similar medicines may be prescribed. It is wise to ask questions about potential side effects of these medications and to be very careful when taking them.
Home Remedies for Headache and Nosebleed
Previously, the recommendation when handling a nosebleed at home was to lie back. Now it is understood that sitting up reduces the nasal blood pressure, while leaning forward can keep blood from entering the mouth or running down the throat during a nosebleed. Place pressure against both sides of the nose to reduce bleeding, and putting cotton pads in the nose while applying pressure for 10 to 15 minutes can help the nosebleed to end. A cool cloth on the back of the neck can also help the nosebleed to end.
It is important to get rid of the nosebleed before attempting to treat the headache. Then, for the headache, consider lying in a cool, quiet and dark room with a cool cloth on your forehead. The cool temperature is good for the headache and also decreases the risk of a repeat nosebleed.