Traveling outside home can be strenuous. Even for those who do it on a regular basis and have the routine so set that they can accomplish it on auto-pilot, a change in routine can be disconcerting and throw off the whole morning. When seasons change and your body reacts, issues can result. For example, imagine you are standing on the train, awaiting your stop, when a sudden sneeze leads to nose blowing, and you look down to see that there was blood. This can be a slight abnormality that is no cause for concern if you are generally in good health. However, it can be a precursor for the discovery of serious issues.
Why Is There Blood When Blowing Nose?
1. Chronic Congestion
For those who deal with congestion on a regular basis, the tissue lining the passages of the nose can become inflamed. When this occurs, blowing the nose can lead to some minor damage to the tissue and result in a tiny amount of blood being excreted. This is what leads to blood in the tissue after you blow your nose. This tends to not repeat or cause increasing amounts of blood. Therefore, this issue is not cause for serious concern.
2. Broken Capillaries
The capillaries are small blood vessels in the nose that provide oxygen to the organ. Capillaries are needed to keep the internal surface of the nose alive, and therefore are close to the surface. This means they can break easily. For individuals on blood-thinners like Plavix or Coumadin, this occurs even more regularly and the severity of the nosebleed is increased. Therefore, individuals on these medications are advised to avoid blowing their nose whenever possible.Cold and dry weather increases the issues with capillaries and their tendency to burst.
If blood when blowing nose appears in conjunction with crusting on the inside of the nose, a slight infection may be present in the lower nostrils. These blood vessels can become inflamed and bleed, sometimes extensively, when one blows their nose. It can require cauterization to deal with the problem. This will require a visit to the doctor and a discussion of how often the bleeding occurs.
Congestion in the morning typically points toward an allergic reaction to something in the air. The inflammation associated with this can be called vasomotor rhinitis. This issue can occur during specific seasons of the year, when pollen is more prevalent, or it can be the result of a change in the bedroom environment, i.e. a new pillow or blanket. Identifying the cause can help resolve this particular issue, with no trip to the doctor necessary.
Dry air and sudden drastic changes of temperature can lead to issues with blood when blowing nose. Therefore, while these are not preventable, you can influence the humidity levels in the house and keep them at a level where your nasal tissues do not dry out and crack. If the weather changes quickly, investing in nasal drops and saline sprays can help resolve the damage to your nasal tissue.
6. Acute Bronchitis
While rare, the appearance of blood while blowing nose can indicate a case of acute bronchitis, where the airways that branch out from the trachea are inflamed. This can be caused by a bacterial infection or a viral infection. It can also present with a case of fever. An upper respiratory tract infection or a nasopharyngeal infection can also occur when someone is dealing with acute bronchitis, and these conditions can lead to bleeding when blowing nose as well.
A bacterial disease that requires aggressive antibiotics for treatment, tuberculosis can show up as blood in the mucus when blowing one’s nose. Even if not infected, a person may have the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, and that can lead to blood in the mucus. If this occurs at the same time as night sweats or fever, weakness and weight loss, it may be wise to consult a doctor.
8. Pulmonary Embolism
This possibility holds the most danger for the individual, if it is the cause of blood in the mucus. In this case, a blood clot develops somewhere in the body and travels until it becomes stuck in one of the arteries in the area of the lungs. Chest pain and shortness of breath that does not resolve with a period of rest are indications this condition is present. If not addressed immediately, a pulmonary embolism can be fatal. Therefore, consult a doctor if there is any possibility this is the reason for the bleeding when blowing nose.
What Can Be Done?
There are some things you can do to prevent or at least minimize the chance of blood when blowing nose. In order to avoid this condition, consider the following options:
- Taking 25 micrograms of vitamin K twice each day can help blood clot more efficiently. This can help quickly resolve extensive and/or recurring nosebleeds. The vitamin K should be taken for a period of a month before expecting to see results.
- Avoid blood thinners. Likewise, the use of vitamin E, aspirin and ginseng can thin the blood and increase the chance of bleeding when blowing nose. Therefore, avoid these if prudently possible. If you are prescribed blood thinners, let your doctor know you are having issues with nosebleeds.
- Low humidity in the home can lead to more nosebleeds and mucus when blowing one’s nose. Therefore, consider increasing the humidity to between 60 and 64 degrees. This should be done especially for the bedroom. Keeping the home dry or too warm leads to drying up the mucous membranes in the nose.
- Citrus can also be helpful when dealing with repetitive episodes of blood in nasal mucus. Eating more citrus means you get more bioflavonoid, which helps prevent mucus appearing when blowing your nose.
When to Worry
For those who deal with blood in the mucus on a regular basis after blowing their nose, consulting a doctor is a surefire way to help address the issue quickly and efficiently. While the cause is typically allergy or sinus congestion, consulting the doctor can rule out the more serious possibilities and give you peace of mind while addressing the actual cause.
Another definite warning that you should see the doctor is if you continually have issues getting the bleeding to stop. Seeing a doctor can determine the reason for this and help you get back to better health and life without frequent and long-lasting nosebleeds.
Remember to see the doctor immediately if:
- A nosebleed continues for 20 minutes or more
- A head injury occurs and the nosebleed is a result of that injury. X-rays can eliminate the possibility that a skull fracture is the cause of the nosebleed.
- Frequent recurrence of a nosebleed is experienced, i.e. more than once a week.
- For children with repetitive nosebleeds, a visit to the doctor is recommended in order to ensure no serious medical conditions are being experienced.